Lewis Morgan: Celtic signing unperturbed by Rangers youth exit

Lewis Morgan
Lewis Morgan was paraded at Celtic Park after completing his move from St Mirren on Friday

Celtic signing Lewis Morgan insists his confidence has never wavered, even when released by Rangers as a 16-year-old.

Winger Morgan, now 21, joins the Scottish champions from St Mirren on a four-year deal, but will be immediately loaned back to the Buddies for the remainder of the season.

"[My self-belief] probably grew going to St Mirren," Morgan said.

"The young boys there have quite a lot of character-building stuff to try and build bigger personalities."

Morgan has scored 13 goals this term, helping propel St Mirren to the top of the Scottish Championship, where they hold a three-point lead over Dundee United.

He says his Ibrox exit came as no surprise, but Celtic's newest recruit did not doubt his ability to find a route to the top.

Morgan 'saw exit coming'

"The last couple of years I was there, I wasn't anywhere near my own age group - I was put down in the year below," Morgan revealed.

Lewis Morgan in action for Rangers at youth level
Morgan, seen here playing against Celtic, was a youth player at Rangers

"It was kind of coming, to be honest. The head of youth at the time didn't take a fancy to me.

"But that's all behind me now and I'm happy to be joining a club like this that plays Champions League football every year and is the most dominant club in Scotland.

"I was confident I would get something. Not knowing where you're going to be can be hard, but once I got involved at St Mirren and wanted to sign there, it's all been great for me and brought me to the stage where I am today."

'It's quite old-school'

After five seasons in Paisley, Morgan credits the Buddies with moulding him into a player capable of representing a Celtic outfit who clinched the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup without losing a match last season.

He follows much-vaunted 18-year-old winger Kyle McAllister and midfielder Stevie Mallan, 21, in agreeing moves from St Mirren in the past 12 months.

McAllister joined Derby County last January, while Mallan was sold to Barnsley, who also compete in England's second tier, four months later.

Stevie Mallan and Lewis Morgan prepare to play for Scotland Under-21s
Stevie Mallan and Morgan have both represented Scotland Under-21s

"They keep all the younger boys grounded there; it's quite old-school," he said. "As a young boy, you're singing in front of the first team all the time.

"The coaches there, Davie Longwell, who is now at New York Red Bulls, was really big on trying to promote big personalities in the changing room and that's been a success at St Mirren.

"They've produced quite a lot of young players and that's one of the key elements to that."

'I'm sure I'll get a chance'

Morgan will vie with some of Scottish football's most potent wingers, such as Scott Sinclair, who has scored 15 goals this term, and James Forrest, who has netted on 12 occasions, for starting berths next season.

The new recruit believes he can prove to manager Brendan Rodgers he merits a place in the line-up.

James Forrest and Scott Sinclair
James Forrest and Scott Sinclair are mainstays in the Celtic XI

"Hopefully I can come and hit the ground running and then it is up to me," Morgan added.

"If I do well enough, I'm sure I'll get a chance. The manager has proven that, with other youngsters, he's willing to give young players a chance."

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