At just 24 years old, Siriki Dembele is already one of the most prolific wingers in the EFL and has been linked with a switch to the Premier League.
The Dembele family is one heavily involved in football, with his younger brother Karamoko having already made his professional debut for Celtic and been named in the L’Equipe list of six footballers who are set to revolutionise the game. Along with that, Siriki is related to the prestigious Yaya and Kolo Toure siblings, as well as the late Ibrahim Toure who sadly passed away 2014.
Siriki, who is eligible to feature for England, Scotland and Ivory Coast, floated around the youth systems at Dundee United and Ayr United between 2009 until 2016, before he attended trials at the ‘Nike Most Wanted’ event in 2016. Siriki impressed enough to be one of two English players to be signed up to the Nike Football Academy.
Whilst at the Nike Academy, the tricky winger earned himself trials at Championship outfits Huddersfield Town and Barnsley and was in fact offered contracts, but suffered a lengthy injury and therefore was forced to return to the Nike Academy ruing his missed opportunities.
Upon his return, Siriki was offered an opportunity on trial at League Two unit Grimsby Town, where he starred in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Barnsley. Siriki looked so much of a threat that he was offered a professional contract by the Mariners and signed on the dotted line for a one year contract with an option of an extension, even turning down an offer from fellow fourth tier club Stevenage.
During his time at Blundell Park, Siriki made 36 appearances and netted on four different occasions, before handing in a transfer request to try and force a move to a higher league club, which he clearly succeeded in, as Peterborough United snapped up the danger man on a three year contract for an undisclosed fee.
In his first season at the Amex Stadium, Dembele was a regular under Steve Evans making 38 appearances for the Posh, scoring five times and getting seven assists in what was a promising first season in League One. Siriki adapted to the faster, more silky football on offer in England’s third tier, helping his new side to consecutive play-off pushes. He even had a better season the year, after getting more goal contributions than he did in his first season, but this time in less games.
Now into his third tenure at Peterborough United, Siriki has become one of League One’s most intimidating wingers. In fact, no player has dribbled past more opponents in England’s top four divisions than Siriki. In his most recent game against Hull City, Dembele contributed a goal, successful dribbles, two tackles and a 91% pass accuracy, identifying why he earned himself a place in the EFL’s League One Team of the Week. His blistering pace, creativity and fantastic mind set to not give up allows him to have different options when moving forward to confuse the defender and make different options leading the line.
Peterborough have always had an excellent frontline, boasting the likes of Ivan Toney, Marcus Maddison and Mohamed Eisa in recent years as forwards who have tore apart the league’s defences, and Siriki contributes to this massively, often leaving the full-backs quaking.
In the Summer window, Siriki was linked with moves of up to £5m with the likes of Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Crystal Palace, but unlike his partner in crime Toney, Siriki opted to remain at the Posh and his services will be crucial for Darren Ferguson, if he can utilise them, then EFL cans can agree with what Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony stated on the Roker Report Podcast, that he believes Siriki will be the best player in League One this season- if that’s not backing a player, then what is?
Siriki has already been compared to Crystal Palace star player Wilfred Zaha, which explains why the Eagles were interested in acquiring his services this Summer, but after Palace snapped up QPR’s Ebere Eze, their attention went elsewhere. Siriki will be eager to fulfil his potential and one day reach the Premier League, and at the age of 24 he is beginning to approach his prime and it’s key now that he rips up League One with the hopes of either taking the Posh up or looking elsewhere.
But for now, Sirki Dembele remains one of the highest rated prospects in League One, with potential and time on his side and having already been linked with Premier League moves, he’ll be hoping to one day flourish into the greatest league in the world and throw his name into contention for whichever country he ends up representing- the sky really is the limit for Siriki Dembele.