BOSUN LAWAL returned to Celtic last month after his successful loan spell at Fleetwood Town.

And the 21-year-old Dubliner could emerge as a surprise contender for a midfield role in Brendan Rodgers’ squad.

The six times-capped Republic of Ireland international has already been likened to former Hoops fans’ hero Victor Wanyama with his powerful build and ball-winning qualities.

Lawal joined the English third-tier club in the summer when Parkhead legend Scott Brown arranged a season-long loan. The 6ft-plus operator arrived as a central defender, but he returned to the champions after spending the second half of the campaign in the middle of the park.

AIR WE GO…Bosun Lawal celebrates Celtic’s Youth Cup win over their Ibrox counterparts in May 2023.

The former Hoops skipper was sacked early in September and replaced by Lee Johnson. The ex-Hibs gaffer lasted a mere three months before being axed.

One-time Scotland international Charlie Adam, who retired from playing in September 2022 at the age of 36 after a spell at Dundee, was appointed manager just before the turn of the year with the team on a nine-game winless run.

It was the ex-Liverpool and Rangers star who converted Lawal from centre-back to a midfield role and Lawal adapted to the new position to such an extent he was linked with Derby County and Queens Park Rangers at the end of the season.

The forceful performer scored six goals in 47 appearances, but couldn’t prevent Fleetwood from slipping into the fourth tier.

Lawal still has two years to run on his contract and Rodgers will have a decision to make when he assembles his squad for the new campaign.

It could be the youngster could go out on loan for a second season to get game time.

BALL-WINNER…one-time Celtic fans’ favourite Victor Wanyama in control.

However, the comparisons between Lawal and Wanyama are intriguing. The Kenyan joined the Hoops in a bargain £800,000 deal from Belgian side Beerschot in July 2011.

After 13 goals in 91 appearances, Celtic made a massive profit when he left in a £12.5million switch to Southampton two years later and he was on the move again in June 2016 when he was sold for £11million to Spurs.

Wanyama is now at MLS outfit CF Montreal and encouraged Alistair Johnston to snap up the offer to join the Hoops in January 2023.

The Canadian right-back now jokingly refers to his former team-mate as “Agent Victor”.

Have Celtic unearthed a worthy successor to Wanyama? Over to you, Brendan and Bosun!

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