Monday, October 22, 2018

Moussa Dembele could benefit from SPL stay

Young French striker Moussa Dembele has impressed immensely at Celtic this season

The January transfer window merry-go-round has started with rumours and speculation over the future of a number of players.

One of those players linked with a big money move is Celtic striker Moussa Dembele.

The 20-year-old Frenchman had been heavily linked with a £20million move to West Ham.

However, Celtic’s assistant manager Chris Davies has recently stated the club have received no official offers.

That is a situation that is unlikely to last. Dembele has become one of the most in-demand young strikers in Europe.

Picked Celtic for the sake of his development

Dembele was highly-rated in the summer after a good season with Fulham. The then 19-year-old reportedly had the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham ready to offer him a contract, as his contract with the Cottagers had expired.

However, the youngster knew that his first team chances would be limited at big Premier League clubs. Not playing on a regular basis would have stalled his development. It could even have meant he did not fulfil his potential.

The striker had the chance to join Scottish champions Celtic and boss Brendan Rodgers. It turned out to be a wise move. Dembele knew that he had the ability to continue playing regular football in the Scottish top-flight.

He also knew that he would get to rub shoulders with the elite in the Champions League, well for six games anyway. He did just that when he faced Catalan giants Barcelona in Europe’s flagship competition.

Dembele also knew that despite his struggles in the latter days of his Liverpool career, Rodgers is a very good coach, even if his managerial acumen is questionable. He has worked for the likes of Chelsea as a coach and of course the Reds as a boss, which is not a bad pedigree.

Dembele has been a big hit

The young striker has been a major hit in Glasgow with the Hoops, scoring 19 goals in 36 appearances for the Scottish champions. A strike-rate of nine goals in 20 SPL appearances is decent for a player whose only previous experience came in the English Championship.

The 20-year-old is now the favourite to win the SPL Golden Boot in his first season with Celtic at odds of 5/2.

Dembele also scored three times in six Champions League appearances in the Bhoys short-lived campaign, including an impressive double against Premier League Manchester City. The youngster also missed a penalty against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

The striker’s impressive form this season led to his debut for France’s under-21 team. The youngster has now won four caps for the under-21’s, scoring four times in the process.

No doubt Dembele looks to be developing into a very good striker. It seems it is only a matter of time before the striker leaves for a more high-profile league.

SPL stay could benefit the striker

Dembele will no doubt be glad he chose to move to Parkhead. He is enjoying first team football and also scoring goals. If he would have made the move to a big Premier League club he probably would have been left on the bench or even been farmed out on loan.

Bhoys hero John Hartson has recently stated that he believes that Moussa Dembele should stay at Celtic Park and become a hero like Henrik Larsson did. I have to partly agree with the former Wales star on this one.

It is unrealistic to expect Dembele to stay with the club in the long-term. Henrik Larsson was a true one-off and his situation was unique.

Not knowing Dembele’s personality, but knowing the lure of the Premier League. I can see the young striker heading to the English top-flight in the near future. I somehow doubt he will leave in the January transfer window unless a club produces a ridiculous bid.

Maybe staying with Celtic for another season and a half could benefit the striker. If he was offered a move elsewhere then he would have to consider it carefully, just like he considered his move to Celtic carefully.

I can see Moussa Dembele developing into a top striker in the future. He may grace the Premier League or La Liga at some point. However, for now, he just needs to keep scoring goals and impressing for the Hoops.

Will Moussa Dembele leave Celtic in the January transfer window?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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