Celtic winger Karamoko Dembele may not be in line for a return to first-team action any time soon.
That’s according to a claim made by Kieran Devlin, with The Athletic journalist revealing in a recent Q&A that the 18-year-old’s injury sustained in pre-season appeared to be a break rather than a less serious knock, something which could see the forward ruled out until well into the new year.
When asked by a fan why Dembele has not featured for Celtic so far this season, Devlin said: “He’s also injured, *think* it turned out to be a break in the end but conflicting information on that.”
Considering Dembele’s regular involvement in Celtic’s pre-season campaign this summer, in addition to Ange Postecoglou appearing incredibly excited to work with the teenager this season, the news that Dembele could remain sidelined until well into next year will undoubtedly have left the 56-year-old manager livid.
Indeed, shortly after his arrival at the club, the Greek-Australian coach singled the winger out for praise, stating: “He is obviously a hugely talented boy. He has been here for a while and I guess he gets an opportunity now.
“I think the way we play will suit him. He was positive [against Charlton Athletic], not just with the ball, he also worked hard without the ball. Yeah, I thought he did well. I never worry too much about age, at either end of the spectrum. It is more about can they do what we want them to do.
“He has been in and around the first-team squad for a little while now. I think he wants to break through and be a first-team player so I see no reason why anybody needs to protect him from that.”
And, when taking into account the excitement that surrounds the youngster, – the prolonged absence of the forward will undoubtedly start to raise questions as to whether he can indeed go on to fulfil his undoubted promise.
For instance, French publication L’Equipe once named Dembele as one of “the wonders of European football” alongside the likes of Ansu Fati, Joelson Fernandes, Sebastiano Esposito, Mohamed Ihattaren and Karim Adeyemi back in 2019.
Indeed, should the England U18 international find himself ruled out of action until after the rapidly approaching January transfer window, in which Postecoglou will look to bring in further reinforcements to his current attacking options at Parkhead, Dembele could well find his route to first-team football even more blocked than at present – something that does not bode well for his development in professional football whatsoever.