Written by David Robinson
Yesterday Celtic announced the signing of striker Moussa Dembele on a four year deal. The 19 year old joins the Scottish Champions in which the club will only have to pay a development fee having left Fulham with his contract expiring. The teenager can be seen as a massive coup in my eyes considering both his age and ability but with this also in mind, is Celtic the best club for the Frenchman?
The PSG youth product has been linked back to the French Champions in the past as well as a move to the Premier League with Spurs reportedly having come very close to signing the teenager in January. 15 league goals represents an impressive return for a Fulham side that hugely struggled in the Championship. The youngster complimented the formidable Ross McCormack perfectly with his ability to pull on the shoulder with pace, power and finishing stretching defences leaving space for McCormack to drop deep at times and cause all sorts of problems. The youngster really does look to have quality even in an early stage of his career. He is more than just a raw talent with his physical attributes excellent, he has the intelligence to cause defences a number of different problems.
It’s still early days for Dembele but will playing at Celtic Park improve his development? You’d first of all imagine he is in good hands under Brendan Rodgers, that’s something that could improve parts of his game. He could potentially follow the likes of Wanyama, Forster and Van Dijk into the Premier League where it would seem a given that will he impress and catch the eye of other clubs. So in that sense it could be a stepping stone. The picture for me though is the lack of ambition this talent must have. While Celtic win the league every season and have hopes of playing Champions League football should they qualify, do those potential 6 games outweigh the lack of a quality and a challenge that the league possesses?
My opinion is no. Scottish football is dire and would prove nothing should Dembele walk away with a league winners medal having been a standout player in the league. We have seen the likes of Leigh Griffiths standout in the SPL, the same man who couldn’t hack it in the English third tier with Wolves. This is just one of many examples that Scottish football is of little strength.
On the other hand, there are benefits that Dembele will face. He should find himself on the team sheet every week at Celtic, something that could very well not be the case in the Premier League. This experience could stand him in good stead although he was getting regular game time at Fulham anyway. A move to the Premier League would be more of a risky one in a sense. We have seen countless young players move to some of the bigger clubs in the English top tier only for them to get limited chances with their development suffering as a consequence. Based on this, it could be a good move for Dembele but with his talent, I can’t help but feel disappointed that this is a lack of ambition from a quality player. Should the right club in the Premier League have came knocking, we really could have seen an emerging talent come to fruition to show just how good he really is, that won’t be the case now. A real shame.
Has Moussa Dembele made the right move? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by rbrough