Home Football Exclusive: Palace Frontrunners For Jonathan Afolabi As Several Clubs Interested

Exclusive: Palace Frontrunners For Jonathan Afolabi As Several Clubs Interested

YEREVAN , ARMENIA - 21 July 2019; Jonathan Afolabi of Republic of Ireland celebrates following the 2019 UEFA U19 European Championship Finals group B match between Republic of Ireland and Czech Republic at the FFA Academy Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia. (Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland U19 international Jonathan Afolabi has been attracting interest from a host of clubs in England and abroad following his impressive displays at the European Championships for the Boys in Green.

Tom Mohan’s side reached the last four of the tournament in Armenia with Afolabi grabbing a goal in the group stages against the Czech Republic and catching the eye throughout with his standout displays.

Afolabi has been without a club since the start of the summer after leaving Southampton but sources close to the player told Pundit Arena that a myriad of clubs are chasing his signature after his performances won him a place in the team of the tournament.

Crystal Palace are thought to be the frontrunners as they search for a remedy to their attacking woes while Aston Villa, who had previously been linked with a move for the 19-year old, are said to no longer be in the running.

Pundit Arena also understands that Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United have shown interest in Afolabi as well as Birmingham City and Reading from the Championship.

There are also clubs abroad chasing the Irish striker with a La Liga side thought to be keen.

Afolabi’s work-rate and finishing ability caught the attention of many in Armenia including Irish U21s boss Stephen Kenny who told Pundit Arena that his form at the European Championships and in particular his attitude, have been a huge bonus for the Boys in Green.

“One of the things that has been a plus is the form of Jonathan Afolabi,” said Kenny.

“He’s been one of the best centre-forwards in the tournament without a doubt.

“A lot of players when they’re released from clubs it’s quite complex. Human emotion is what it is, some people maybe come home, get deflated and give up football.

“They fall out of love with the game for a year, it takes them sometimes a year to get the motivation back to get back playing. Jonathan has taken a setback but he hasn’t allowed that setback to set him back.

“He’s been very determined to show his quality and I think that was evident in Russia in the qualifying campaign, he was very prominent and I think he’s shown everyone a great example of how to react when you have been let go. He’s been exceptional.”

About Oisin McQueirns

Oisin McQueirns is a digital journalist at Pundit Arena. Massive fan of Leeds United, Ric Flair and Trusting The Process. Contact him here oisin@punditarena.com