Celtic’s Head of Youth Development Chris McCart has revealed the Hoops have been battling for six years to prevent top clubs from signing up top prospect Karamoko Dembele.
The 15-year-old recently committed his future to Celtic, snubbing reported interest from England and Spain to play for the club who has helped develop his talent over the years.
He is now signed up to a pro deal that runs until 2021 and he could make his first-team debut this year when he turns 16.
McCart, as quoted by The Scottish Sun, explained this week the club’s efforts to keep him at Celtic Park:
We were absolutely delighted and the club put a lot of effort and work into securing Karamoko for the next three years.
Karamoko has always been in demand from the age of nine. It’s been an incredible journey for him so far.
But one thing he’s got; he’s a humble boy. He knows he’s got to work hard. He’s just moved up to the reserve team at the minute.
He’s demanding from the sports science, the medical, the coaches… can they do extra work with him. He needs to keep that attitude if he’s going to fulfil his potential.
That potential and the kid’s work ethic and determination to make the best of himself should massively excite supporters who have tracked Dembele’s progress since he made his U20s debut two years ago.
McCart went on to explain that the club learned from the failure to sign up Islam Feruz to a pro-deal, revealing that Brendan Rodgers himself devised a five-year plan for Dembele to succeed not just personally but for Celtic too.
It’s heartening to hear we are making strides in our development of top talent and I can’t wait to see where Dembele’s career goes from here.