Moussa Dembélé primed for West Ham move, Celtic among beneficiaries

By Euan Davidson

January 7, 2021

Former Celtic striker Moussa Dembélé has been heavily linked with a move away from Lyon.

Today, West Ham have become the most likely option, having sold French striker Sebastian Haller to AFC Ajax (TalkSPORT).

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is reportedly interested. Manchester United have been heavily linked in the past, but their interest has cooled.

With a sell-on clause inserted into Lyon’s purchase of Dembélé, Celtic fans and the board will be watching the situation with interest.

Dembélé has had a difficult season so far. In 16 Ligue 1 games, he’s only netted once (Transfermarkt).

That’s a significant drop-off, considering his tallies of 16 and 15 in prior seasons. Manager Rudi Garcia has often preferred Memphis Depay in central positions instead of the big Frenchman.

Still, he was part of a Lyon side that knocked Manchester City out of the Champions League.

Reports in France have linked Dembélé with West Ham (RMC Sport), with Chelsea having had a £34m bid knocked back previously (Daily Express). Hammers fans don’t seem entirely happy with the links, claiming that his lack of Premiership experience and significant fee are the drawbacks (Hammers News).

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 28: Moussa Dembele of Celtic celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Celtic FC and Manchester City FC at Celtic Park on September 28, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Celtic in for Moussa Dembélé windfall this January

Dembélé was outstanding for much of his Celtic spell, scoring 51 goals in 94 games for the Bhoys. He became an instant fan favourite, having scored a sublime hat-trick on his Glasgow Derby debut (BBC).

Netting in Europe and domestically in the Hoops, Dembélé showed all the signs of a complete forward. A clinical finisher with both feet, the Frenchman exhibited his pace, aerial ability and hold-up play while in Scotland.

It’s possible that Hammers fans don’t know what they’d be getting with the striker. For our money, he’d fit in perfectly under David Moyes’ stewardship.

A tall, physical striker with excellent technique, Dembélé would be a good fit in the Champions League. Brighton and Hove Albion nearly snaffled him in the winter of 2017 (Guardian).

Exactly how much Celtic would financially benefit isn’t clear. The Scottish Sun report the sell-on clause at 10% (Scottish Sun), meaning that it the Bhoys could pick up a few million pounds for squad bolstering in January.