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Celtic must unleash Karamoko Dembele on Saturday

Celtic defender Christopher Jullien testing positive just about summed up this shambolic season for the Hoops and Neil Lennon.

After a trip to Dubai, the Frenchman returned ill and consequently, 13 players have been told to self-isolate as a precaution.

Guidelines state that anyone deemed to have been in close contact with a contagious individual must stay inside for a period of ten days.

On the chalkboard

As a result of that, it means that Celtic will presumably be without a similar list of names when they play Livingston on Saturday afternoon.

Consequently, we could see the pack shuffled again in terms of their starting XI. The Hoops’ attack was far from convincing against Hibs with just two scoring opportunities from inside the box being fashioned.

It didn’t help either that when the Bhoys got the ball in wide areas, their creativity was lacking. Six times they attempted to deliver a cross but not once did the ball fall to a teammate in green and white.

Does Dembele deserve more game time?

Of course

Of course

No way

No way

Mikey Johnstone was a good reason behind that. He failed to put in a single cross all game as Hibs right-back Paul McGinn made four tackles and won seven duels, proving an obstacle at every turn.

In the words of Glasgow Live reporter Chris Doyle, “Hibs dealt with the tricky winger well and he was kept quiet for the most part.” Thus, an immediate change must be made if Celtic want more dynamism in the final third.

Unleash Dembele

It might be a stretch to pin your entire hopes on a 17-year-old talent with just 15 minutes all season but the fact of the matter is that Karamoko Dembele needs to play.

He burst onto the first-team scene at the age of 16 but since then, he hasn’t really been provided with a pathway to regular senior minutes.

It’s bizarre when you consider the immense qualities the teenager possesses. He is a dynamo in wide areas and despite his small stature of 5 foot 6, can beat players for ease.

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Who did Celtic face in their first match of 2020?

Dembele has tremendous pace and although he’s relatively unproven, throwing him in against Livi on Saturday would not be a bad idea.

The teenager played the final 11 minutes versus Hibs and to quote Doyle again, he “looked positive.”

That’s the very nature of Dembele. The youngster is always keen to get on the ball and make an impact for his team. Neil Lennon said in 2019: “He’s the type of player that you want at Celtic. He gets the crowd off their feet with his football intelligence.”

There may not be an audience watching on at Parkhead this Saturday but he’s the type of character that will have you gleefully clapping from the sofa in your living room.

Just read what Ruud Gullit had to say about him. The legendary Dutchman once claimed that he “looks pretty special”, revealing the young prodigy “is exceptionally good.”

If having 13 players out through self-isolation doesn’t give you an excuse to play the diminutive winger then nothing will. Now is Dembele’s chance to shine.

AND in other news, Lennon could finally axe Celtic stalwart by signing £300-p/w gem “on top of the world”…

Article title: Celtic must unleash Karamoko Dembele on Saturday

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