By Will Butcher
Celtic wonderkid Karamoko Dembele almost become a Newcastle player after scouts watched him play when he was just seven years of age.
The 13-year-old has burst onto the scene at Celtic, after making a substitute appearance for the Scottish giants’ under-20 side despite being seven years their junior.
Talking to the Evening Chronicle, Dembele’s former coach Peter Paton revealed that Newcastle scouts watched Dembele play half-a-decade ago for Scottish team Park Villa boys club.
“I remember him getting player of the tournament in a competition in Crosshouse at the age of eight,” Paton told the Evening Chronicle. “Newcastle scouts were sniffing all around him.
“He scored so many goals for us I had to put him in left-back but the wee toe-rag would still take the whole team on and score more goals.”
Dembele has become an instant hit on social media, with a video of his skills and silky dribbling ability going viral.
The Ivory Coast-born attacking midfielder played nine minutes of Celtic’s under-20 triumph against Hearts, as the Hoops’ youth side won 3-1.
First-team action could soon be on the cards for the teenager, after already featuring for the Scottish giants in their Under-15 squad against West Brom, Sheffield United and Barcelona.
However, Newcastle fans will be distraught to see that Dembele was overlooked and is now a sensation at Celtic Park instead of St. James’ Park.
In other Newcastle transfer news, Grant Hanley has revealed what extra dimension Rafa Benitez brings to the Magpies’ squad.