Could Brendan Rodgers give Karamoko Dembele Celtic debut against Motherwell

By David Walton

February 20, 2019

This Sunday’s clash with Motherwell could see Karamoko Demebele make his debut in a Celtic squad.

Hot on the heels of Armstrong Okoflex’s first squad appearance at Rugby Park, Dembele’s name has been thrown into the mix.

The Scottish Sun has stated that his first appearance for the club could come on Sunday. That’s despite the fact he only turns 16 on February 22nd.

Motherwell is the first senior game he’ll ever have been eligible for. But whether Brendan Rodgers will be so quick to give Dembele his squad debut remains to be seen.

Karamoko Dembele has come a long way from the 13-year-old starlet he used to be (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The youth prodigy only just recently signed his first ever professional contract. The deal secured Dembele to Parkhead until 2021. There was no suggestion at the time that he was being prepped for a quick debut in the matchday squad.

But it wouldn’t be totally surprising if Rodgers did decide to throw him a place on the bench. Considering the importance and difficulty of the Kilmarnock game, Rodgers showed his faith in youth by giving Okoflex a place.

Therefore, with Celtic highly expected to win at home to Motherwell on Sunday, it could be the perfect time.

Squad debut or appearance debut?

Of course, appearing in the squad is a lot different to appearing on the park. Motherwell are known for playing in a very combative style. Having someone so young and undeveloped as Dembele may not be the best idea given the opposition’s physical approach.

Therefore, this is a difficult one to predict. Dembele may be available, but tossing him straight in could be giving him too much too soon also. It’s not fair to put him on a pedestal considering some of the other talent working hard at youth level too.

Brendan Rodgers showed faith in youth against Kilmarnock, naming Armstrong Okoflex on the bench (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Dembele may be one of the most high-profile youth products to ever come through the academy. But, it’s vitally important that Celtic keep his feet on the ground.

The main thing to take away from this is that Dembele is finally available for squads. He’s now at the age where he can develop and have the carrot of first-team football dangling in front of him.

But would you throw him straight into a matchday squad on Sunday? Let us know your thoughts on this one in the comments.