"Enjoy football again"; Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele speaks volumes in brief post-game interview

By Euan Davidson

July 10, 2021

Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele turned in another exciting performance, but his post-game interview hinted at a frustrating time so far.

The winger was on hand to score one and help set up another as Celtic made light work of League One side Charlton Athletic. In an all-action first-half, Dembele was everywhere; hugging the touchline and coming into central areas to create or take opportunities.

It’s been a long time coming for the England youth international. Speaking to Celtic TV after the game, Dembele seemed happy with his work, but hinted at some long-standing frustrations.

Dembele said [Celtic TV]:

“Yeah, it was good to score. But I’d just say like, [I’m] just enjoying football again. I think that’s the main thing. Because I’ve not played for a while now, so obviously it was good to get out there, and just have fun.

“When you’re not playing you’re obviously motivated to play, and when you’re out there, all you want to do is just give it your all.

“Score, assists, just do what you can, and enjoy the game.

“Everyone was moving well, everyone knew what to do before the game. The manager was very clear on how we want to play, and I think everyone understood that. So, it just helped everyone when we’re playing, as well.

“Training every day, trying to show the manager what I can do, obviously, and just good to get more minutes in the legs as well.”

Last season will have been incredibly frustrating to watch for Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele

What a trial 20-21 must’ve been for young Karamoko. With James Forrest injured, and seemingly no other natural right-wingers in the squad, he must’ve assumed there’d be a chance for him.

If that was the case, he assumed wrong. Neil Lennon instead played Ryan Christie on the right, in an unnatural position. Or, neglecting wingers entirely, a very 90s midfield diamond was used instead.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rather by accident or design, the diamond initially worked. Quickly, though, that lack of width showed, and we were figured out very quickly. That has to have been a huge frustration for Celtic’s Karamoko Dembele, who is clearly enthusiastic about playing for the Bhoys.

It’s obvious. In his demeanour, in his play, everything suggests this is a guy who wants to do well for the club. Finally, he saw some limited opportunities under John Kennedy, but this display will have put him firmly in Postecoglou’s thoughts going forward.

Whenever he’s played, he’s impressed. Surely, something’s got to give. Let the youngster enjoy his football long-term, at Celtic.

READ MORE: 20-21 enigma presenting strong case to Postecoglou