Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembélé has sent a goodbye message to Jeremie Frimpong.
Frimpong left Celtic earlier today, joining German side Bayer Leverkusen. Die Werkself fought off reported interest from Fiorentina, during a week of shock news regarding the Dutch right-back.
Fans were left heartbroken by Frimpong’s surprising request and subsequent transfer. The second-most used player in the Celtic squad, the right-back’s absence leaves a gaping hole in the squad.
Ditto the young Celtic winger Karamoko Dembélé, who described Frimpong as “my partner”. Dembélé is facing his own Celtic departure. Ex-Celt Mark Wilson has claimed that French clubs Lille and Nantes are chasing the wonderkid, whose contract runs out in the summer.
Karamoko Dembélé and his Frimpong despair
It’s tempting to imagine how a Frimpong/Dembélé partnership on Celtic’s right flank could have developed. Both players have immense technical ability, but the latter still needs to develop physically.
However, with the combined pace of the pair, it could’ve been genuinely exciting.
Dembélé’s Celtic future already looked in doubt. Neil Lennon spoke highly of the England youth international in pre-season. Nevertheless, Dembélé has barely featured in 20-21, even with James Forrest suffering from a long-term injury.
Young Karamoko’s last appearance came against Hibernian on the 12th of January. Despite 13 first-team players missing and a number of youngsters starting, the winger only managed 10 minutes on the pitch as Celtic drew 1-1 [WhoScored?].
It’s a far cry from the years of hype and excitement following the youngster. A viral sensation, Dembélé was tipped for stardom, with Scotland, England and the Ivory Coast battling for the youngster to represent them at international level.
Clearly, Neil Lennon no longer likes the look of the winger, with Cameron Harper preferred in and around the first-team squad. Harper, too, has one eye on the door marked “exit”.
It’s incredibly worrying to see Celtic on the precipice of a mass youth exodus. So many names have been linked to first-team stardom over the past few years, however Mikey Johnston is the only academy prospect to have made a mark in recent years.
For Karamoko Dembélé, Frimpong’s departure may be the final straw.