James McPake believes that Jonathan Afolabi brings a different dimension to Dundee’s play.
Charlie Adam captured most of the media attention when he moved the Dens Park during the close season but from the early signs the on-loan Celtic striker could make a bigger impact.
Afolabi caught the eye when he appeared as a half-time substitute in the opening match away to Hearts then scored the only goal of the game as Dundee beat Morton 1-0 at home/
Last season was stop-start for the Irish youth internationalist after joining Celtic from Southampton but McPake saw enough to take him on loan to Dens Park for the season.
The Dundee boss told The Courier:
He’s been really good and brings a different dimension to us. He can be a throwback at times by taking the ball in but at the same time he’s a really good footballer, a great left foot. He showed that with his goal against Morton and against Peterhead in pre-season, he strikes the ball so cleanly.
He doesn’t mind fighting with centre-backs either, which is rare nowadays. Particularly with players coming from academy football who are technically very good but sometimes not as keen to get involved in the physical side. But Jonathan doesn’t mind at all, he’ll take the ball in and fight the centre-backs and throw them about. We see it in training every day.
He’s another we are trying to get up to the levels we want but we’re really pleased with him. He has a real hunger to do well
Afolabi scored twice in six appearances for Dunfermline before Lockdown and seems to have settled in quickly at Dundee.
Neil Lennon currently has four strikers to select from but if Afolabi can pile in the goals playing in the Championship next season he could push his way into the Celtic squad for next season.