Karamoko Dembele looks primed for more Celtic opportunities after exciting cameo

By David Walton

March 17, 2022

Celtic are going to need as much firepower as they can get their hands on as the title-race heats up, and that’s why Karamoko Dembele is well placed for some more game-time in the coming weeks.

Yes, there’s a huge elephant in the room when it comes to his contract. Dembele is scheduled to leave the club in the summer as things stand. Many will believe this has been one of the reasons he hasn’t been given too much of an opportunity.

But the truth is that Ange Postecoglou appears to have been simply waiting on him to return to match sharpness after his horrific injury in pre-season. Dembele returned to the B team fold last month. Since then, Ange has had him in and around match-day squads.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

And in fairness to Karamoko, whilst he’s yet to sign on at Celtic Park, there have been no rumours of him officially heading elsewhere. Instead, it’s simply been a case of knuckling down and looking to get some senior minutes.

Postecoglou gave him 6 against St Mirren back in early March. Another 20 was thrown his way against Dundee United in the Scottish Cup on Monday night. And it’s fair to say he looked more than a little lively.

Twice he got away down the right, with the second leading to a goal for Giorgos Giakoumakis. Dembele’s trickery, flair, and pace was there for all to see. It was a hugely-exciting cameo and one that suggests he’s fully over any injury issues he had.

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Karamoko Dembele ready for more game-time; Ange is clearly a fan

Whilst there are question marks over his commitment, you have to believe that Ange is comfortable about where things are. After all, Karamoko has been involved in the first-team recently whilst Ben Doak hasn’t. It recently came to light via the Athletic that the latter is likely on his way to Liverpool.

Therefore, you have to imagine that Ange hasn’t seen any signs that Dembele is about to do similar. That can only be a good thing, even if we don’t want to be too presumptuous about a new contract.

At the very least, Karamoko is here between now and the summer. He’s already shown he can do real damage against Premiership teams when he’s been given glimpses of an opportunity. It would be absolutely fascinating to see what he could do with more regular minutes.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

He likely won’t start against Ross County on Saturday. Not with Liel Abada fit and James Forrest available. However, at the same time, he’ll most likely be on the bench once again. Another 20 minutes would be a touch disappointing. Celtic fans would love to see a good half-hour or 45 minutes out of him to see what he can truly do.

Ange has already talked Karamoko up in the past. He’s labeled him “hugely talented” [Glasgow Times]. He also said this month that Dembele was someone he was “really looking forward” to working with [Scottish Sun].

As we close in on potential title-success, Karamoko is a fine weapon to have in the arsenal. But it’s now time for Celtic to actually start using him and see what kind of impact he can make. He has absolutely nothing to fear at Premiership level, and you get the feeling he knows that too.

In other news, Celtic have a real point to prove after Malky Mackay’s bitter December comments