Alex McLeish has tipped Celtic winger Karamoko Dembele to play more regular first team football this season under new manager Ange Postecoglou.
The Lowdown: Youngsters will get chance to impress Postecoglou
As 2021/22 gets underway for the Hoops, opportunities for young stars will present themselves as the new boss considers how to rebuild his squad effectively.
Starlets Owen Moffat and Dane Murray have already been singled out for praise in pre-season, and one other man who has also made an impact in recent friendlies has been 18-year-old Dembele, who scored against Charlton in a 2-1 win last week [Glasgow Times].
His manager has also labelled him as ‘a hugely talented boy’ in recent times [Glasgow Times].
Should Dembele be given more first-team chances this season?
The Latest: McLeish backs ‘exceptional talent’ Dembele to play a part
“He’s still very, very young. He won’t have all the answers at this particular age,”
“But if he breaks through as a wonderkid, it would be unusual at that level.
“He will have a part to play in the squad judging by the comments I’ve heard Postecoglou make.
“There is no doubt he’s had a wee impact as it stands at the moment.
“The thing is you don’t want to put too much pressure on a young guy at 18. You don’t want to be thinking this is a guy that’s going to win us the league and trouble everybody.
“I think the kid will have his own targets to reach. So far, he’s come through as an exceptional talent.”
The Verdict: Dembele should be gradually nurtured
All things considered, McLeish correctly signifies the need to allow Dembele to grow and develop at his own pace.
Becoming a viral sensation for his talents from a young age, he made his Celtic under-20s debut at the age of just 13 [BBC]. While he clearly seems to have huge talent, he needs to be nurtured correctly by Postecoglou in order to have an impact in the long-term at Parkhead.
Despite his limited minutes on the pitch last term, he managed to record a strong passing accuracy of 83.3%, which will likely improve with further senior exposure [WhoScored].
Moving towards competitive action in 2021/22, the Celts should look to gradually increase Dembele’s game-time as he learns the ropes in the Celtic first team.
In other news, Celtic have opened talks with this England international.
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