Celtic will have 3 frightening wide options when James Forrest and Karamoko Dembele return

By David Walton

October 12, 2021

Celtic are close to reintroducing several big players back into their ranks after the October international break.

Indeed, the likes of Chris Jullien, Josip Juranovic, and Mikey Johnston should be back in first-team training by the time the build-up to Motherwell begins.

However, at the same time, there are two other big impact players whose return timelines are still hazy. James Forrest and Karamoko Dembele haven’t had the chance to make their mark this term due to injury knocks.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The latest updates delivered on either man were mixed to say the least. Ange Postecoglou doesn’t think Forrest will be back for the Motherwell game, but hopefully not too long after [Scottish Sun]. As for Karamoko? Postecoglou stated back in late August that he was a “long-term” absentee [YouTube]. Fast forward nearly two months and there’s been no further update.

It appears as though Forrest will be back first then. Dembele, whose contract expires at the end of the season, hopefully not too long after.

But whilst these injury woes have been ongoing throughout the campaign, it’s been overlooked just how strong Celtic will be down the wide areas when both men return.

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Celtic options will be frightening when James Forrest and Karamoko Dembele return

The number one right-winger at the moment has been Liel Abada, the new summer signing from Israeli outfit Maccabi Petah Tikva. He was Postecoglou’s first ever signing for the Hoops, and he’s lived up to his £3.5m price tag too [Scottish Sun].

Considering our injury woes, the fact we’ve generally been short down the right has led to us looking weak for options in the final third. However, when Forrest and Dembele return to action, look at the players that will be available to Postecoglou at that point – whenever that will be.

All of a sudden, with everyone fit, we’ll have Abada, Forrest, Dembele, Jota, and Mikey Johnston respectively. Not to mention the likes of Owen Moffat in the Celtic B team still waiting for an opportunity. That’s one heck of a list of wide talent available at our disposal.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Not to mention that Forrest can play on either flank as can Dembele. So it doesn’t just increase our options down the right side, but on both.

That will give Postecoglou the chance to give the likes of Abada and Jota some more rest periods. Something he will surely like to do to keep his top talents fresh.

Of course, as mentioned previously, there are plenty of question marks surrounding when Forrest and particularly Dembele will return. But the sooner they do, the more exciting our attacking options will be.

In other news, James McCarthy needs immediate Celtic improvement to wipe away ominous signs