Back to reality for Celtic's Karamoko Dembele after European debut

By John Reid

December 18, 2019

Celtic’s Karamoko Dembele has certainly been in the news in the last week. He became the youngest ever Hoops player to feature for the team in Europe, when he came on as a second-half substitute in the 2-0 Europa League loss to Cluj.

That brought the player plenty of attention, and little wonder. It is not often that someone who is 16 plays for Celtic in Europe.

Back to the youth team

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, after all that excitement, it is now back to reality for the player. He has gone from playing in Romania, back to playing for the Celtic Academy side.

On Wednesday night he started for the Hoops ‘colts’ team when they took on Partick Thistle in the Glasgow Cup.

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He didn’t find the back of the net in the game which ended in a 1-1 draw. However, it is a smart move from the club to restore the player back to the reserve/academy side even after making his European debut.

At the moment, the player’s chances of featuring for the first-team are limited. It should not be forgotten that it was a shadow Hoops side which travelled to Romania for the game against Cluj.

However, that does not mean that it was good experience for Dembele. It was, and it will no doubt stand-him in good stead for the later part of his career.

Best move for the player

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

For now though, he is better off playing for the Celtic youth/reserve team every week to sharpen up his game. That will be better for him rather sitting on the Celtic bench every week, with a first-team appearance once in a while.

Neil Lennon and Celtic won’t want to rush the player’s development. Whatever they have doing seems to be working so far, as the player has done well in his limited first-team appearances. Hopefully he will make a few more of those before the end of the season. For now though, Celtic are doing the right thing.