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PersonalFullname: Mohamed Bangura
aka: Mo Bangura
Born: 27 July 1989
Birthplace: Kambia, Sierra Leone
Signed: 30 Aug 2011
Position: Forward, Striker
Debut: Celtic 4-0 Motherwell, 10th September 2011
Squad No.: 14
Internationals: Sierra Leone
International Caps: 5 [Aug 2011]
International Goals: 1 [Aug 2011]
Biog"Bangura is a very talented, skilful player and I think he will be the next Henry Larsson at Celtic," said his agent Patrick Mork as he signed for Celtic in the belief it was only a matter of time before his client won a move to England's top flight. As Bangura put it himself:
"To come to Celtic gives me a good feeling because it's another step in my career. I have to work to get to the top. I'm talking about the Spanish league, the English league or maybe the Italian league. If I can do my best here with Celtic then I will see what the future holds. If possible, I could make the next step in one year - if everything goes well and the club is willing, why not?"How wrong he was to be...
He was given ample opportunities in the first and reserve sides, and in neither did he show his worth. After sixteen appearances for the first team (admittedly a number from off the bench), he had the miserly record of zero goals and just the one assist! The fact we have to list his 'assist' to give him any kind of record speaks for itself. His shooting and positioning was woeful.
In one game he near enough hit the cornerflag three times with shots and chased a guy who was about to be substituted. Ridiculous!
He was just out of his depth, and this was the SPL! Yet he and his agent were talking about the big leagues on his arrival. It would be laughable if it wasn't for the fact we were lumped with him. The only thing that entertained the fans was his little dance with some colleagues round the SPL trophy in our league title celebrations.
In August 2012 after just one appearance in the league in the new season (another hapless display) he was shipped back to Sweden to AIK Stockholm on loan till Dec 2012. Hopefully this would give him back some confidence to reboot his career.
It was said we'd paid £2.2m for him. That is very unlikely, and we hope it's not true. Henrik Larsson is said to have recommended him to us, and for the first (and only time) he'd let us down (but we forgive Larsson).
Bangura should have not made public such haughty ambitions on his arrival. It's no shock that into the longer term all players wish to play at the highest level. However Bangura hadn't even got off the starting blocks and should have been a bit more reticent. It was a bit disrespectful (esp the one year target) and when things went wrong, there was only lampooning and no sympathy. There has probably not been at Celtic such a yawning gap between a player's self-belief and the reality as occurred for him.
There was literally no supporter sad to see him move on loan for footballing reasons but in fairness there were no personal issues against him. The initial boast was in retrospect just stupid & naive and he was no 'misfit' as one tabloid dubbed him.
The question is though what was to happen after the end of the loan move?
On return, AIK opted not to loan him again (too expensive) and it was thought Celtic were stuck with him. Scoring a goal (finally!) for the first against Steaua Bucharest in a friendly admittedly was met with relief for him and humour/applause from the support. Despite the soundbites of hoping for more chances and there will be more goals to come etc, he ended up pushed back to Sweden for another loan, this time to Elfsborg!
Playing Career[Table to indicate clubs played for, including dates, transfers and fees where known [e.g. soccerbase table]]
|APPEARANCES||LEAGUE||SCOTTISH CUP||LEAGUE CUP||EUROPE||TOTAL|
Honours with Celtic[Indicate any known awards (player of the year, etc)]
Bangura: I want to follow in Henrik’s footstepsCelticfc.net
By: Laura Brannan on 30 Aug, 2011 14:31
MOHAMED Bangura was thrilled to sign for Celtic today and he is hoping that he can follow in the footsteps of Hoops legend Henrik Larsson, who has spoken highly of the Sierra Leone player.
The new Bhoy impressed Larsson, who saw him playing in Sweden last season for AIK Stockholm.And the 22-year old striker is honoured by the compliments paid to him by the Super Swede.
“It is very flattering to be recommended by Henrik Larsson, and it's a very good feeling,” Bangura exclusively told the Celtic website.
“I know all about Henrik and what a great player he was for Celtic, and I’m looking forward to joining up with my new team-mates and working hard to do well at Celtic and help the club be successful.
“But I don't feel any pressure, though. I'm just very happy and I'm looking forward to the move. I am delighted to be joining a club the size of Celtic.
“I want to bring joy to the team, and I want to bring joy to myself. I want to give them what they need. Celtic are a step forward for me,and this was the right time for me to make the move.”
Bangura will join up with the Celtic squad after the international break, which will see Sierra Leone take on South Africa next Tuesday,and he is determined to win a place in the starting XI.
It will be the striker’s first time in Scotland and he is hoping to make an instant impact.
“I will be over soon but first I have to play for my country," he said. "From there I'll go straight to Scotland and join up with Celtic.
“I feel good. I've played in Europe for a while now so I feel ready. I'm hereto play, so I will fight for a starting place.”
Bangura checks in after a tough journey in lifeEvening Times
Mohamed Bangura lived through brutal civil war in Sierra Leone in his childhood
31 Aug 2011
Celtic new boy Mohamed Bangura today insisted there is no chance of him taking life at Parkhead for granted after growing up in war-torn Sierra Leone.
The 22-year-old striker sealed a dream £2million move to the Hoops from Swedish club AIK Stockholm yesterday and is looking forward to helping Neil Lennon’s team win the SPL.
Being a star forward at the Glasgow giants will all be a far cry from his childhood in Freetown during a bitter civil war in the 1990s which left an estimated 50,000 dead.
Bangura said: “Given every-thing that happened to me, I appreciate what I have so much and that includes this great move to Celtic.
“I was a baby when the war started and it carried on as I grew up. I saw people dying around me and I remember the tears shed.
“I was in Sierra Leone when all the fighting was going on and I am so lucky that I wasn’t killed. I still cannot explain why I didn’t lose my life during that spell. I can only assume that God chose to guide me.
“I can never say that I felt everything was going to be all right. I am just so happy that everything is good now and that things are working out for me in my adult life.
“I also have the opportunity to play for my country these days and it makes me incredibly proud to represent the modern Sierra Leone. I am so happy that I cannot stop smiling because I sense Celtic and the SPL will suit me.”
Bangura has paid a tribute to former Rangers player Alex Miller for helping him come through another tough spell in his life when his new-born son died last October.
Miller was in charge at Stockholm when the tragedy happened and gave his player extended compassionate leave – even though it adversely affected his side’s battle against relegation. Bangura said: “I really liked Alex and he believed in me.”
Meanwhile, the player, who was signed after Celtic legend Henrik Larsson gave former team-mate Neil Lennon a glowing commendation, has vowed to bang in the goals for his new club.
He said: “I want to bring joy to the team, and I want to bring joy to myself. I’m here to play, so I will fight for a starting place.
“It is very flattering to be recommended by Henrik Larsson, and it’s a very good feeling.
“I know all about Henrik and what a great player he was for Celtic, and I’m looking forward to joining up with my new team-mates and working hard to do well at Celtic and help the club be successful.”
Bangura added: “I don’t feel any pressure, though. I’m just very happy and I’m looking forward to the move.
“I am delighted to be joining a club the size of Celtic.”
The player revealed he will grow back the dreadlocks he cut off at the start of the season in honour of Larsson. He said: “I am told fans loved Henrik’s style so I am going to grow my dreadlocks back.”
Bangura is delighted that he will have the opportunity to play in the Champions League at Celtic in the future and has also spoken of his desire to one day play in the Barclays Premier League.
He said: “Naturally, the possibility of playing in the Champions League is a big thing. It is where everyone involved in professional football wants to be.
“I am sure I can help the team do what it needs to get the title and get back into Europe at that level.
“My career goal is to get into one of the biggest leagues in the world at some point such as the English Premier League. However, there are plenty of targets for me at Celtic in the meantime. I want to bring joy to the team and I want to bring joy to myself.
“I will be over in Scotland soon. I feel good. I’ve played in Europe for a while now and so I feel ready. I will fight for a starting place.”
Lennon said: “We believe Mohamed is a player of real quality and someone who has the potential to make a big contribution to Celtic.”
Bangura: Goal gives me confidenceBy: Mark Henderson on 16 Jan, 2013 10:35 IT was designed as a game to enhance fitness and match sharpness following a winter break. But Celtic´s 2-1 victory over Steaua Bucharest in Marbella turned out to hold far greater significance for Mo Bangura.
The striker ended 18 months of frustrationin the53rd minute of the matchby bagging his first top-team goal for the Hoops, clinically heading home from Kris Commons´ cross.
His effort also completed the Scottish champions´ fight-back against the Romanian league leaders after Georgios Samaras had cancelled out Stefan Nikolici´s early strike.
It was a joyful moment for Bangura and also one of immense relief. A huge weight was instantly lifted off his shoulders.
Several injuries and the fierce competition for places in the attacking department had hindered the Sierra Leonean internationalist´s progress in Paradise since his arrival in August 2011.
That saw him to head out on loan during the first half of the season to former side AIK, where he earned some valuable game-time and rediscovered his scoring touch.
He returned to Celtic with confidence restored and determined to prove his worth. Breaking his goalscoring duck has further fuelled Bangura´s self-belief levels and he´s now eager to make his mark at the club.
"I don´t know even know how to explain myself as I feel really great and happy," he told the official Celtic website in an exclusive interview. "I have to say thanks to everyone – my team-mates and the coaches who have given me a chance, as this what I need. Hopefully, I will get some more.
"I need to score goals as this gives me confidence and now I need to play more games. This is why I went on loan as I was injured and then when I came back I needed matches. So I went and scored a couple of goals and got my belief back.
"I am delighted to be back and score my first goal for Celtic. It was good for me.It was a good cross from Kris Commons and I just managed to head it down into the far corner.
"I now have to fight to be in the team, to get chances and hopefully bang in some more goals.
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