CELTIC prospect Jack Aitchison aims to emule Arsenal legend Thierry Henry – thanks to expert guidance from Kolo Toure.
The 17-year-old striker admitted he had been a fan of Arsene Wenger’s old team where the new Hoops youth coach and the French superstar played alongside each other.
Aitchison said: “Kolo is probably the biggest help to me at Celtic. He’s the nicest guy you will ever meet.
“He’s very down to earth and he speaks away like a normal person. You wouldn’t know what he’s achieved in his career.
“He’s trained and played with Thierry Henry, so he’s been trying to tell me what he used to do – the movements he’d make in games. If you’re learning from guys like that, it’s going to be beneficial.
“Funnily enough, I’m actually an Arsenal fan. Me and my dad both support them. So, I have watched Henry on the internet and YouTube just to see how he played. He was unbelievable.
“I wouldn’t mind following in his footsteps with the way he played and the way he scored goals. To do that I will need to work hard.
“I have spoken to Kolo a couple of times about being in the Invincibles team and about guys like Henry and Robert Pires. He told me they were all brilliant trainers who didn’t just do it in games. Training is a big part of it, too.
“You have to show the manager what you have got if you want to have a chance to play games for the first team and that’s something I’ll always keep in mind.”
Aitchison arrived on the big-time scene in May 2016 when he became Celtic’s youngest-ever player and goalscorer, at the age of 16 years and 71 days, when he appeared as a second-half substitute and netted in the final day 7-0 hammering of Motherwell.
First team opportunities have proved scarce since that historic afternoon, but he scored in the 3-2 UEFA Youth League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain and helped the side to a 2-1 triumph over Anderlecht.
Aitchison added: “Everyone thinks first-team footballers are different, but the Celtic guys all take time for you.
“We even eat together at lunchtime. I know at some clubs, they keep the young boys away, but it’s not like that at Celtic.
“We mingle together every day. In the canteen, Scott Brown can sit next to you. You can have a normal chat with them. I speak to Leigh Griffiths quite a lot, as well, because he’s in my position.”
NEW CQN PODCAST FROM CELTIC PARK ON SATURDAY
Kevin Graham is back with a new CQN Podcast from Saturday. He talks to supporters on the bus on the way to Parkhead, interviews John Paul Taylor outside the ground and captures the atmosphere and action inside the ground before getting some more supporters’ views on the bus home after an eventful afternoon at Celtic Park.
Apologies for a few sweary words in this podcast near the end.