Dembele has been the name on many Celtic fans lips over the last few days, and no, I’m not talking about Moussa after his supersub heroics of Wednesday night.
As video footage emerged of a young Celt named Karamoko Dembele in action at the St Kevins Boys Academy Cup 2016, it is clear to see we may just have a special talent in our ranks.
Aged just 13, Karamoko still has years of development ahead of him before he can dream of appearing in the first team. These next few development years will be crucial in Karamoko’s progress as a footballer. Many a talented teenager has dropped out of the game as they struggle to compete physically with their peers. And while it would be unfair to make comparisons between Dembele and some of football’s greatest ever stars (considering his age), there is no doubting Karamoko’s incredible ability to glide past players with the ball tied to his left foot. You can draw your own conclusions as to who Karamoko may remind you of:
(Video courtesy of KEEP IT ON THE DECK youtube channel)
Remaining grounded and having the right guidence and support around him will be key to ensuring Dembele fulfils his undoubted potential. We don’t have to look far to see how a poor attitude appears to have stalled one ex-Celtic wonderkid’s progression. Islam Feruz, once Tommy Burns’ prodigy, is still only 20 and on the books at Chelsea. However with a number of unsuccesful loan spells on his CV, including a stint at Hibernian last season which was terminated after just 6 substitute appearances, Feruz is running out of time to get his career back on track before he is brandished another wasted talent. While it is never nice to see a young professional fail to live up to their promise because of a poor attitude; Feruz could be highlighted as an example to young Karamoko of what can happen if an ego gets in the way of hard work and dedication. I hope, for Islam Feruz’s sake he now gets his head down and focusses on being the best footballer he can be. As for Karamoko, his future is very much in his own hands (or perhaps feet would be more accurate).
The video above highlights some of Dembele’s performances against the likes of Barcelona and West Brom as he picked up the Player of the Tournament award at the St Kevins Boys Academy Cup 2016. The award was followed up with another Player of the Tournament accolade at the Bassevelde Cup in Belgium this May as Celtic U13s triumphed against Borussia Dortmund in the final to claim the trophy.
The Bassevelde Cup is a prestigious tournament with some of Belgium’s current golden generation competing in past editions; Kevin de Bruyne, Vincent Kompany and Axel Witsel to name just a few. Previous winners of the Player of the tournament award include Manchester United’s Memphis Depay (2007), and our own academy graduate Aiden McGeady (1999).
Standing out as the star man in tournaments including the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain and Borussia Dortmund is an outstanding achievemnt for young Karamoko Dembele, and while it is vital he is allowed time and space to develop without the glare and pressure of media hype, he is certainly a name to keep an eye out for in years to come. We may just have something special here.