By Dominic Toner
Wilfried Bony believes that Celtic wonderkid Karamoko Dembele should play for Ivory Coast.
The 13-year-old attacker has become a huge sensation after making his Celtic Under-20s debut at the beginning of October and several international sides have moved to secure him.
Scotland and England have entered a tug-of-war to land the youngster, but are not the only two teams who Dembele could opt to play for.
London-born Dembele, whose parents hail from the Ivory Coast, moved to Glasgow when he was aged five.
Ivory Coast international Bony has urged the teenager to focus on his development for now, but claims it would be the right move to join the reigning African Cup of Nations champions.
“It makes sense to choose the Ivory Coast,” Bony told the Scottish Sun. “Both his parents are from the Ivory Coast — that is a big part of who he is. Kolo Toure is at Celtic, I am sure he can tell him all about how great playing for the Ivory Coast is.
“It is arrogance to suggest that his only decision is between Scotland or England. We’re all excited by him. Anybody who can achieve what he has by 13 years of age has a big future. But it is also important we remember he is still a kid.”
He added: “For now, he should just enjoy his development without any pressure. When the time comes to make a decision he can think then.”
Dembele made his Celtic debut for the Under-20s this month and caught the attention of the footballing world.
The forward made an appearance from the substitute’s bench to play in the last nine minutes of the 3-1 SPL Development League win over Hearts.
The left-footed attacker has been likened to Lionel Messi and often cuts in from the right wing onto his favoured left foot, can pick a pass and has excellent dribbling skills.
His first shot to fame for his performances in a prestigious Under-15s tournament in Dublin earlier this summer, before making the headlines when representing the Celtic under-20s side.
In other Celtic news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to Kieran Tierney’s performance for Scotland.