Tiny Celtic wonderkid who played for U20s while just 13 years old finds new club
A tiny Celtic wonderkid, who played for their under-20s side at just 13, has signed for Ligue 1 outfit Stade Brest on a free transfer.
Karamoko Dembele, 19, was tipped for stardom at Parkhead when representing the Bhoys' youth side seven years underage but failed to kick on from his initial promise. The teeny-weeny winger starred for Celtic's under-13s in the St Kevin's Boys Academy Cup, where he was named player of the tournament, before being fast-tracked into the first-team.
Dembele, the younger brother of Bournemouth ace Siriki, drew comparisons with seven-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi during the early years of his career due to his dazzling feet and silky dribbling and hit the headlines in 2016 when he replaced 16-year-old Jack Aitchinson for the final nine minutes of Celtic's under-20's 3-1 win over Hearts.
READ MORE: Celtic fans want Karamoko Dembele, 15, to start against Hibernian as training clip emerges
Making his senior debut as a 16-year-old, the England youth international was introduced as a second-half substitute by then-manager Neil Lennon, helping Celtic to a 2-1 victory whilst also collecting a Scottish Premiership winners medal.
In the same year, Dembele was named by French outlet L'Equipe as one of six "outstanding young players set to revolutionise the game," in a list that also included Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati, though he managed just 23 first-team minutes that season.
Scoring his first goal in a 4-0 romping of St.Johnstone during the behind-closed-doors 2020/21 campaign, Dembele was anticipated to vie for a starting berth the following season but a serious ankle injury hampered his progress. After just 20 first-team minutes last term, the teenager has penned a four-year deal with Stade Brest, where he hopes to "explode" onto the scene.
"I came to Brest because I saw that the project presented by Greg Lorenzi was good," said Dembele on completion of his switch to Stade Francis Le Ble. "It's something that suits me and I think I can have some playing time here. It was a great opportunity that presented itself to me and it interested me.
He added: "I'm very explosive, I like to have fun and give it to the fans and. I like to score and win."
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