Kundai Benyu: 'Celtic's Brendan Rodgers can turn me into next Sterling or Ibe'

Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe train at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers
Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe developed under Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool

Celtic signing Kundai Benyu hopes to be Brendan Rodgers' latest successful young player - and follow the examples of Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe.

Manchester City's Sterling and Bournemouth's Ibe worked for Rodgers at Liverpool and Benyu said it was "the main factor" in his move to Glasgow.

"The gaffer has helped a lot of young players in the past, like Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe," he said.

"So I'm hoping to be a part of that list."

Midfielder Benyu, who scored five goals in 23 appearances while on loan at National League club Aldershot, signed a four-year contract with the Scottish champions last month after rejecting a new deal with Ipswich Town.

Despite having not yet made a first-team start with the English Championship club, the London-born 19-year-old had been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, with whom he played in a European youth tournament, as well as West Ham United and Aston Villa.

"In my opinion, Celtic are bigger than all of those clubs who were interested in me," Benyu told Celtic TV.

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Benyu was watching his new club win the Scottish Cup final when he became aware of Celtic's interest

"I know I'm joining one of the biggest clubs in the world, with 60,000 fans at every home game, which is crazy.

"The gaffer's put faith in me and he trusts that he sees me in his team and that I can improve as a player.

"My ambition is to get into the first-team squad by the start of the season."

Benyu only learned of Celtic's interest while watching, on television, what turned out to be his future team-mates clinch the treble on 27 May.

"I was in my friend's house in North London actually watching the Scottish Cup final - Celtic and Aberdeen - when my agent called me and told me Celtic were interested," he added.

"I was speechless and couldn't believe it. And, from then on, it all went pretty quickly.

"During the game, I got the call, around 60 to 70 minutes in.

"After I got that phone call, I was more or less supporting Celtic - and I was buzzing when Celtic scored that late goal."

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