Ange's timeline comes to pass as Celtic winger Karamoko Dembele returns to training

By Euan Davidson

February 1, 2022

Long-term Celtic injury absentee Karamoko Dembele is back in training, a week after Ange Postecoglou delivered his optimistic timeline for the winger.

Dembele was injured in pre-season, in a game against Bristol City. The timing seemed particularly cruel, as the winger had just expressed his joy at playing football again, and having opportunities. Late last season, under John Kennedy, Dembele made some telling contributions, including a goal in a win over St Johnstone.

The momentum seemed to be going his way, especially with Ange Postecoglou and his attacking philosophy arriving at Celtic Park. However, it’s been a difficult road back to fitness for Karamoko Dembele. Surgery was required on his ankle, which delayed his return further.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ange Postecoglou explained last week that he was hoping to have Dembele back in training around now. And, judging by photographic evidence courtesy of Celtic, that’s come to pass [Celtic FC].

Looking typically determined, Karamoko Dembele featured in the Lennoxtown build-up to tomorrow night’s Glasgow Derby. And while it might still be a while before we see him make an impact, he’s surely a player Ange Postecoglou will want to use, going forward.

Skilful, mentally tough and deserving opportunities, the right-sided attacker fits the profile of a player the Celtic boss wants to have in his squad. His contract runs out in the summer, and only with assurances of game time is it likely that Karamoko will renew.

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Seeing Karamoko Dembele in Celtic training is a welcome boost

Karamoko Dembele seems like he’s been on the cusp of stardom for years. Ultimately, it just hasn’t happened for him yet. When we have seen him in the first-team, he’s looked utterly explosive; so skilful and technically gifted, he can make life desperately hard for defenders.

He’s a player who John Kennedy appreciates, and he has the ear of the Celtic boss. You sense that when Karamoko is fit, he’ll be a player Ange Postecoglou will want to use. His record of playing Academy talents thus far has been excellent – Ben Doak remains in first-team training, and was impressive on his debut.

Ange has expressed his desire to build a nucleus of young players for the next few years. Having watched Karamoko Dembele in pre-season, he’ll surely have the precocious winger in mind. That is so dependent on fitness though, and so rushing him into contention is the last thing anyone needs here.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

There’s a lot to be excited about, in terms of the talent Celtic are producing. Not only that, there seems to be a genuine effort to provide a pathway for young players. It’s not just talk any more, it’s action.

With Doak, Moffat, Dawson, Murray and plenty of others, we’ve seen talented young players getting opportunities. Karamoko Dembele has already made his Celtic debut of course, but bringing him back into the fold means there’s another talented young player ready to step up in the coming years.

Make no mistake, this is great news. And it’s another welcome boost for Ange Postecoglou.

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