There are understandably a lot of expectations when Celtic sign a player from the Manchester United youth set up. And thus, on most occasions, you would expect them to at least get a few games in the first-team at Parkhead. That was not the case for Lee O’Connor though, who never made a senior appearance for the Hoops, before joining English League Two side, Tranmere Rovers.
It is safe to say that the decision to quit Celtic and join Tranmere Rovers in the fourth division of English football raised quite a few eyebrows.
But for O’Connor, it simply came down to where he would get to play games. And there is no doubt about the fact that his chances of getting minutes is much higher at Tranmere Rovers than they would have been at Celtic.
As reported by Independent.ie, the former Manchester United youngster said about his decision to leave Celtic:
"“It was pretty straightforward for me. I think I needed to do it for the good of my career. That’s what it came down to, that’s the only thing I was thinking about. From when I was making my decision, it just had to be what’s going to be the best thing for my career.“I could have maybe waited until the summer, made my decision, but I just wanted to play. I just needed to play games. I thought at the age I’m at now (21), the thing I needed the most was to play games. That’s what it come down to and that’s why I left.”"
O’Connor reveals why he left Celtic to join Tranmere Rovers
Ultimately, it is clear that O’Connor made a decision which he feels would advance his career and one has to admire the fact that he was ready sign for a club in the League Two. That goes on to show that he is confident in himself and his abilities.
Still only 21 years of age, there is plenty of time on O’Connor’s hands to take his career forward and if he can develop like he was expected to while coming through the youth ranks at Manchester United, do not be surprised to see him playing top division football in the future. He has already made an appearance for the Republic of Ireland national team as well.
O’Connor had signed for Celtic in the summer of 2019 and it is hard not to feel that he perhaps could have waited a bit longer before departing the club. Now, he is just one in a long list of signings, who failed to make an impact at Parkhead.