Celtic forward Luke Donnelly to join on loan

Celtic forward Luke Donnelly today signed for the club on an emergency loan until 9 May 2017, subject to the paperwork being completed.

Manager Jim Duffy has been a long-term admirer of the 21-year-old and came close to bringing him to Cappielow on a temporary transfer in the summer of 2015.

A prolific scorer in the Celtic Under-20s, Donnelly enjoyed a loan stint with East Stirling in season 2014/15 and spent the first half of the current campaign out at League One Alloa Athletic.

He will become the third Parkhead player on the club’s books at present, following midfielder Jamie Lindsay and winger Aidan Nesbitt to Greenock.

And Duffy today told gmfc.net: “I spoke to the chairman this morning and he gave us the go ahead after the injury to Gary [Oliver] at the weekend.

“We were always looking to try and bring someone in anyway, which I’ve mentioned before because the important thing for us was getting competition at that end of the pitch.

“Luke is a boy, as everyone knows, who was on our radar a year and a half go, when Ronny Deila was there, but Ronny wanted him to stay round about the Celtic first-team squad at that time, then he got an injury.

“So when we looked around again, I just felt that Luke was a player who could complement the way we play, and that’s always important; it’s not just getting a player in who plays in a certain role. He’s got to try and complement us.

“He plays at the top end of the pitch. He can play as a striker, he can play off as the second striker and he can play in an advanced wide area as well – he’s a creative, forward player.

“He’s still young, and like all young players he’s still got a few things to learn about the game. But he’s got quality on the ball, natural ability, good feet for a big guy and I’m confident he’ll do well for us.”

New boy … Luke Donnelly enjoying his first Morton training session today                 © Gary Bradley

Donnelly trained at Parklea this morning and Duffy hopes the switch will be registered in time for him to be available for tomorrow night’s rearranged Ladbrokes Championship clash against Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park.

He added: “We’re looking to get it done and hopefully have it complete in time for tomorrow obviously. We asked the question about whether he is cup-tied and he’s not, so he should be available for the Rangers game.”


Image (main): Jonathan Mitchell

Image (inset): Gary Bradley