Rabiu Ibrahim: David Silva Is My Role Model
Celtic new boy Rabiu Ibrahim has revealed he models himself on Manchester City star David Silva.
The Nigerian sealed his move to Parkhead last week after making an instant impression on boss Neil Lennon during a trial.
Ibrahim, however, has revealed his game is influenced more by Andalucia than Asia.
Silky Spaniard David Silva has lit up the English Premiership this season with his outstanding displays for Manchester City.
Ibrahim is glued to his TV whenever the former Valencia superstar is on the box – and he hopes to add some of that Latin flair to Lennon’s side.
The playmaker said: “Celtic have a talented group.
“There are good midfielders here so that will make me step up my game and improve quickly.
“Zinedine Zidane used to be my hero but at the moment it is Silva at Manchester City.
“I like the way he plays and always watch him.
“I’m an attacking midfielder, too. A number 10. Behind the strikers.
“It’s good to play in a physical league because you have to learn more and be stronger.”
Ibrahim was compared to some of his country’s outstanding exports as a teenager and was even dubbed the new Jay-Jay Okocha.
But the expectations weighed heavily on his youthful shoulders as he struggled at Sporting Lisbon.
He headed for Holland 12 months ago and earned a three-year contract at PSV Eindhoven after impressing in training.
However, that deal was ripped up just eight months in and he was free to find a new club.
Celtic have now opened the door and Ibrahim admits he’s in Glasgow with a point to prove.
He said: “I’m flattered to be compared with greats like Okocha but they have come and gone.
“I am Rabiu and want to show my own quality. It was unfortunate for me at PSV because I was in direct competition with the captain Ola Toivonen for a place.
“He’s an experienced Swedish international and I had to leave because I felt I was not getting enough playing time.
“I had an agreement with PSV to let me go if I was not playing.
“When I got there they liked me and needed me in the team.
“But it was tough for the coach to decide because the captain was also in my position.
“However, with good guidance I will get the chance to prove myself at Celtic. We haven’t discussed how much playing time I will get but the gaffer is encouraging me and making me feel at home.
“I’m excited to be here. I’m already loving Glasgow.
“The players and the coaching staff have been good to me.
“I knew a little about Celtic before I got here because I watched them in the Champions League and I know of the Old Firm rivalry.
“I have been looking at the internet and was at the Dundee United match a fortnight ago.
“My agent also gave me an insight into how massive this club is and the heritage and culture.
“When I arrived I immediately fell in love with the club. It will be an honour to play here.”