Ex-manager raises Dembele fears after 'significant' Celtic update
Alex McLeish has admitted Celtic starlet Karamoko Dembele faces a fight to impress Ange Postecoglou again after being sidelined through injury.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland boss insisted the setback could have a serious impact on the 18-year-old’s “mentality” after a bright start to pre-season.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun (July 20th), confirmed Dembele would be out for over a month after picking up a ‘fairly significant’ injury.
The England under-18 international suffered the blow in the Hoops’ warm-up game against Bristol City.
Dembele had appeared to be breaking his way into the first team having impressed his manager throughout pre-season.
Postecoglou branded Dembele a “hugely talented boy” and revealed he was set for a chance in the senior side.
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However, McLeish suggested the injury could knock the youngster back a few steps in his progress.
“McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Postecoglou’s been raving about him (Dembele).
“We said if he’s good enough, he’s old enough. Sometimes young guys are still developing in terms of their muscles. They can pick up injuries.
“If it’s an injury that is going to blight a career, then that is highly disconcerting and disappointing. It’s real trouble for any individual’s mentality.
“He’s got to get back fit and play through these games to impress the manager again.“
The Bhoys drew Postecoglou’s first competitive fixture against FC Midtjylland in a 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
Celtic face West Ham in a friendly on July 24th.
They will then travel to Denmark for the second leg of their Champions League qualifier.