Benyu joins Glas­gow Celtic

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Sport -

HIGHLY-RATED Zim­bab­wean teenage mid­fielder Kundai Benyu yes­ter­day made a huge leap in his ca­reer when he signed a fouryear deal with Scot­tish cham­pi­ons Glas­gow Celtic and be­come the club’s sec­ond sign­ing of the sum­mer.

The 19-year-old play­maker, who was born in Eng­land, had at­tracted the at­ten­tion of clubs in that coun­try, but Bren­dan Rodgers has won the race to sign him for a nom­i­nal fee on a cross-border deal.

Af­ter com­ing through the Ip­swich Acad­emy sys­tem, Benyu was sent on loan to Alder­shot last sea­son and helped them get to the Na­tional League play-offs.

Speak­ing to the Celtic web­site, Benyu said: “I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted to be join­ing Celtic. It’s a mas­sive hon­our to sign for the Scot­tish cham­pi­ons and one of the world’s truly great clubs.

“It’s also a great op­por­tu­nity for me to con­tinue to de­velop as a foot­baller un­der Bren­dan Rodgers.

“I’m look­ing for­ward to meet­ing up with my new Celtic team­mates.

“I know there’s a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I am ready for this, I’m look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge and I can’t wait to get started.”

Celtic are one of sev­eral clubs to have been keep­ing tabs on the young­ster, with Premier League sides in­clud­ing Tot­ten­ham and As­ton Villa also quoted as hav­ing an in­ter­est.

A box-to-box as­set, Benyu scored five goals and was a good source for as­sists as his loan spell at Alder­shot brought him both ex­pe­ri­ence and plau­dits.

He was one of the play­ers whom War­riors coach Nor­man Mapeza had tar­geted for the 2019 AF­CON qual­i­fier against Liberia.

Benyu ex­pressed his in­ter­est to play for the War­riors and was set to travel to Harare be­fore it was found out his doc­u­ments could not be sorted in time.

It’s now very likely he could be con­sid­ered when the AF­CON qual­i­fiers re­sume in March next year.

Benyu joined Ip­swich’s acad­emy in 2011 and was on the fringes of the first team at the age of 16.

Hav­ing im­pressed his coaches, gaffer Mick Mc­Carthy pro­moted him to the first team, putting him on the bench for an East Anglian derby at Car­row Road.

He played along­side an­other highly-rated Zim­bab­wean mid­fielder Tris­tan Ny­dam who was re­cently home on va­ca­tion. — Sports Re­porter/Daily Record.

ON THE MOVE . . . Zim­bab­wean teenage mid­fielder Kundai Benyu has com­pleted a dream move to Scot­tish cham­pi­ons Glas­gow Celtic

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