By George Overhill

16th Sep, 2022 | 7:15pm

West Ham youngster Justin Osagie signs for Celtic

West Ham youngster Justin Osagie’s exit to Scottish champions Celtic has been confirmed by the Glasgow side after his move this summer.

It was reported as far back as 26 July that the Hammers academy player had made the move north of the border [All Nigeria Soccer], and it has now been confirmed.

The defender, 17, is already capped at under-19s international level with the Republic of Ireland and has signed a three-year contract with the Hoops having left the youth set up in east London.

The statement on Celtic’s website said: “Everyone welcomes Justin and Francis [Turley] to the club and wishes them all the best for the future.”

Osagie had signed with the Irons in November 2020 as a 15-year-old when West Ham beat a host of big-name Premier League rivals to signing the Southend United prospect [All Nigeria Soccer].

Moved on

It is far from rare for young players to be poached from academy set ups but if Osagie was as highly-rated as he was marked out to be upon his Hammers signing it will be a disappointment that he has officially gone.

The high-profile, and controversial, departure of Sonny Perkins is still a sore one in Stratford, especially as he has just been named Premier League 2’s player of the month for his goalscoring form at Leeds.

The club will feel similarly disappointed if Osagie develops into a first-team player in Glasgow, although likely not as aggrieved at the manner of the departure.

David Moyes have given sporadic opportunities to youngsters in his time as manager, but Osagie never got close to a first team outing.

There appears to have been fairly little fight put up to try to keep the versatile defender so it may be that they felt he wasn’t quite up to the standard required for the Premier League.

But if he still develops into a solid senior professional it could still be one that comes back to bite West Ham in future.