'There are worries over his application and attitude'; Latest update on Karamoko Dembele at Celtic

By John McGinley

December 8, 2020

The Athletic journalist Kieran Devlin has heard from multiple sources that there are worries about the application and attitude of Karamoko Dembele at Celtic, it was reported in a question and answer session on Sunday.

Dembele has long been a hyped talent at Celtic, ever since making appearances for the club’s U20s development squads at the age of just 13 (The Guardian).

That, coupled with some dazzling videos and highlights, had suggested that he was destined to be a future first-team regular at the Hoops.

In 2018 he signed his first professional contract with the club and would go on to make substitute appearances against Hearts, Cluj, Ross County and Hamilton.

However, he hasn’t played since August, leading to concerns from supporters about his progress.

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Given he is still just 17, it’s important to remember he is still developing and maturing as a player, but the latest reporting from Devlin isn’t exactly encouraging.

He reports in The Athletic that Celtic had originally planned for the teenager to feature more this season and serve as an understudy to James Forrest, but that there are now ‘worries over his application and attitude’ and ‘concerns about his physical development’.

It’s said that this is the reason he is not currently in the first-team picture, despite training with the squad at Lennoxtown.

With a lack of structure when it comes to reserve and youth football in Scotland at ages that could crossover with the first-team, I can imagine that Dembele might be frustrated with his development at the club.

At the same time, if he is not applying himself correctly in training then he’s not going anywhere fast at Celtic.

Karamoko Dembele in action for Celtic / (Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The teenager’s first professional contract is due to expire in 2021 (CelticFC.com), though it’s unknown if the club hold an option to retain his services for another year or not, given the ‘at least 2021’ wording in the statement announcing it.

If his deal truly is up at the end of this season, it’s hard to see the relationship between Celtic and Dembele continuing.