Speaking in his role as a pundit on BT Sport, Celtic icon Chris Sutton has severely criticised the club for their handling of the ongoing Moussa Dembele situation.
Dembele is currently struggling to find a place in Brendan Rodgers’ starting eleven, with the Hoops boss conceding earlier this week that speculation regarding his future at the club is affecting his ability to perform.
Assistant manager Chris Davies also spoke about the ongoing situation this week, believing that Dembele feels like it might be time to move on from the Bhoys.
However, former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has defended the French U21 international, believing that he is being treated shoddily by the club.
Speaking on BT Sport, the pundit said:
It sounds to me like they want to sell him. I have great sympathy with Dembele. I think some of the things said about him are unfair. I’d go as far as to say that Chris Davies overstepped the mark. When have we ever heard Moussa Dembele say he wants to leave Celtic? The treatment of him has been out of order. If that’s your asset, all this talk is going to do is devalue him. It’s damaging – it’s unfair.
Are Celtic guilty of mishandling recent events?
Celtic’s will always be ensuring they put themselves first before the feelings of players, even if that player is their best, like Moussa Dembele is.
They have a responsibility to sell him at the peak of his transfer value and there’s a risk of that value dropping after a string of injuries and loss of form has meant the Frenchman’s only scored eight goals this season, far below his tally of 32 last season.
By publicly bringing into question Dembele’s desire to stay at Celtic, it could be argued that the club are fishing for big money bids this month, or it could be that both Davies and Rodgers are just looking to be transparent with supporters.
He should be playing though, Odsonne Edouard hasn’t yet matched Dembele’s impact on Hoops performances and while Leigh Griffiths is a reliable goalscorer, again Dembele offers more when in form.
If he ends up staying, supporters will be hoping any unrest is cleared up before the big UEFA Europa League clash with FC Zenit, a tie that Dembele is destined to play an important part in.