Rodgers explains how Dembele was brought in to partner his 'David Silva' player at Celtic
By Coral Barry
Brendan Rodgers believes Patrick Roberts and Moussa Dembele will fit in perfectly together at Celtic.
The youngsters are well acquainted with one another after spending time in Fulham’s youth ranks together and Rodgers explained the kind of relationship he expects the two will develop.
Roberts is entering the final stages of his 18-month loan deal at Celtic from Manchester City and Rodgers expects Dembele to help inspire the winger.
“They’re both talented players in different ways,” said Rodgers speaking to the club website.
“Moussa is a more physical player and Patrick is still developing. He will be more your David Silva-type player.
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“His profile is different, but they’ll have that connection having played together and hopefully that can be reintroduced when they play together at Celtic.”
Celtic reportedly beat off serious competition for the signature of Dembele with the youngster seeing a move to Tottenham collapse in January and rumoured to be attracting the attentions of Arsenal and Bayern Munich before opting for Parkhead.
Rodgers and his players are currently in Slovenia on a pre-season tour as they prepare for their first competitive match in July in the Champions League qualifiers.
Celtic will be desperate to make the group stages of the competition after failing to make it out of the qualifying rounds in two years under former manager Ronny Deila.
Deila’s failure to meet expectations was partly down to an underwhelming squad and Rodgers says he is working hard to rectify that problem.
The Northern Irishman sees goals and pace as the two main issues in the Celtic side.
He said: “For me, what was important when I looked at the team, was the introduction of pace in the team, more speed, but also having more of a goal-threat.
“Leigh [Griffiths] got 40 goals last season but I think the next top scorer was 10 so I wanted to attack and we’re going to be very aggressive in our attacking style but at least it comes from different areas, not just one main source.
“So the idea would be to bring in that quality, not having a lot of players to come in but a lot of quality players to help us with that element of our game. Moussa is the beginning of that.”
In other Celtic news, Roberts himself has been speaking about his friendship with Dembele.