Next Celtic manager should resist bids for Karamoko Dembele

By Euan Davidson

June 1, 2021

In news that Celtic fans absolutely didn’t expect yesterday, Danish team Nordsjaelland are keen on signing Karamoko Dembele.

Now, before we get into “Farmer’s league”, “my Nan” territory, the standard in Denmark is decent. It’d be a glass houses/stones exercise to suggest that a Danish club couldn’t steer one of our young stars away. While it doesn’t seem entirely likely, it’s hardly the case that it couldn’t happen. So we need to rid ourselves of any complacency here.

The Sun reported yesterday that:

“Nordsjaelland are already working on [Kamaldeen Sulemana’s] replacement and Celtic’s Dembele is top of their list.

“The Danes wanted the 18-year-old in January but opted against lodging an offer.”

Karamoko Dembele has been a viral sensation for years. Clips of him slaloming opposition defenders have been a mainstay of Celtic Academy chat for a considerable length of time. The international tug-of-war for his services also indicated a bright future for the Bhoys talent [Mirror].

"Carl Starfelt to Celtic is a big possibility" | Swedish journalist Anel Avdić

In the latter end of John Kennedy’s interim spell, we actually got to see him play. He even chipped in with an excellent goal against St Johnstone [SPFL]. What’s clear about Karamoko at this stage, is that he’s a potentially generational talent, but he needs the opportunities. The next Celtic manager needs to be aware of that.

Karamoko Dembele is one of the rising stars at Celtic / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Building around the Academy in general might be smart, but either way Celtic should keep ahold of Karamoko Dembele

While Academy talent has been neglected to a degree in the last decade or so, we need to be realistic. The rebuild at Celtic could end up superseding any previous transfer window’s expenditure. But there are legitimately talented players coming through the Academy who could make it cheaper.

Karamoko is one. If he’s content to deputise James Forrest, then we’ve filled a key position already. Width has been a huge problem at Celtic, specifically in 20-21.

More than that, though, Forrest may be one of our key players, but with his advancing years and injury concerns, it’d be fantastic timing if Karamoko were to develop as Forrest’s role diminished over the next few campaigns. That’s entirely dependent on actually keeping the young winger though.

The next Celtic boss will have a million things to deal with, but they’ll be able to see from the first minute of training that Karamoko Dembele has potential. If the Bhoys have missed anything in our recent past, it’s entertainers who can get supporters out of their seats. Dembele, by all appearances, looks like he can be that player.

Any attack-minded coach will enjoy what the England youth international can bring to the party. Selling him should be the last thing on the club’s mind, at least until he’s under a long-term contract and has made a considerable impact for us.

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