Anthony Haggerty believes Karamoko Dembele is heading into a career-defining season with his Celtic contract set to expire next year.
Dembele came through the ranks with the Scottish giants and, despite being just 18, has made eight senior appearances.
The winger is highly-rated at Parkhead but his contract situation has resulted in interest from other clubs. Flemming Pedersen, the manager of Danish side Nordsjaelland, has admitted he explored the possibility of signing Dembele in the January transfer window.
Should Celtic do all they can to keep Karamoko Dembele?
Having been born in London, Dembele has gone on to feature for a host of England and Scotland youth teams at international level. His latest cap came in March, when he represented the England under-18s.
Ange Postecoglou, whose reign got off to the worst possible start as the Bhoys exited the Champions League at the second qualifying stage after being seen off by Denmark’s Midtjylland, will be looking to regain the Scottish Premiership title during his first season in charge.
Haggerty, a reporter for The Celtic Way, believes Dembele could play a key role in any Celtic success.
He told TIF: “The Celtic supporters have been crying for Karamoko Dembele for ages. This is a big season for Karamoko and even with the introduction of Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi, he should see that as a challenge and show the Celtic boss and supporters what he can do if he gets the chance. He’s never really had an extended run of games.
“It’s a big season for him because he’s in the last year of his contract and he is running it down. Unless Celtic tie him up in a deal, this is a guy that could walk for nothing in January.
“He was tipped for massive things. A lot of Celtic supporters would like to see what he’s actually got in his locker and give him an extended run.”