Celtic manager Neil Lennon is waiting to see how upcoming games pan out before unleashing some youngsters on his first-team, he revealed to The Celtic View (11/03, page 6) this week.

The Hoops boss hasn’t been afraid to give selected youngsters some game time already this season.

Jeremie Frimpong is the most notable example but others such as Stephen Welsh and Scott Robertson have started a match, while much-hyped teenager Karamoko Dembele has also appeared from the bench.

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Addressing whether we could see more young talent in the team towards the tail-end of the season when matches become less competitive, Lennon name-checked two homegrown prospects while suggesting it’s something he’d like to do.

As quoted by The Celtic View (11/03, page 6), he said: “We’ll see how the games go. We still have a bit of football to go, even before the split.

“It’s always good to introduce the young lads to the first-team environment, Karamoko and Stephen Welsh have been training with us, so that experience will stand them in good stead.”

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Welsh made his debut in a start against Hamilton earlier this year, performing well in a three-man defence before being substituted off in the second half.

Composed on the ball, accurate with his passing and even making a crucial clearance, the 20-year-old looked at home alongside the likes of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer.

Karamoko Dembele made his Celtic debut last season

Karamoko Dembele made his Celtic debut last season / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Dembele meanwhile has yet to even start his first match for the Hoops, despite being included three times from the substitutes bench over the last 12 months.

Seeing either before the end of the season would be fantastic and Lennon clearly thinks highly of them right now else they wouldn’t be involved in his Lennoxtown training set-up with the senior pros.

If we can wrap up the league quickly, there’s every chance of the next generation getting a bit of the spotlight before the end of May.

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