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13-year-old Karamoko Dembélé makes debut for Celtic’s U20s

CENTRE OF ATTENTION: Karamoko Dembélé

A TALENTED midfielder who has caught the attention of Brendan Rogers has made his debut for Celtic’s under-20 team at the tender age of 13.

Karamoko Dembélé came on as a substitute in the 3-1 victory over Hearts in the SPFL Development League at Morton’s Cappielow Park ground.

Celtic’s under-20s coach, Tommy McIntyre, named the Ivorian teenager on the bench because several regular starters were away playing for Scotland’s Under-19 team.

Dembélé got his chance with nine minutes till full time, replacing the youngest first-team player in Celtic’s history, the 16-year-old Jack Aitchison.

A report on Celtic’s website read: “The diminutive playmaker didn’t look out of place and played his part in the closing stages.”

Rodgers has put an emphasis on youth development at Celtic, working closely with coaches and recently giving a presentation to academy players.

The schoolboy’s skills had previously been flagged up to a wider audience in a series of online video clips, with Dembélé impressing in two youth tournaments this summer.

He won the player of the competition at the Bassevelde Cup in Belgium, and the St Kevin’s Academy Cup in Dublin, which featured youth teams from Barcelona, Lyon and Deportivo La Coruña.

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