By Frank McAvennie

18th Jul, 2020 | 1:00pm

Exclusive: Lennon pal shares Celtic plan for Dembele next season

Frank McAvennie has claimed Neil Lennon will not hand Karamoko Dembele many opportunities in the season due to its huge significance for Celtic.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the Hoops legend and friend of Lennon heaped praise on the “very exciting” 17-year-old but said he would only be a “bit-part player” in next season’s 10-in-a-row pursuit.

Dembele made two senior appearances last season, both as substitutes in cup matches.

The winger is very highly rated in Glasgow and became the club’s youngest ever player when he made his debut against Hearts in May 2019.

However, with the Hoops gunning to become the first team in Scottish football to win 10 consecutive league titles, McAvennie fears first-team opportunities will be sparse.

“They have talked about Dembele for years now,” he told Football Insider.

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“Lenny likes him and gave him a couple of games last years. He has the talent.

“He is very exciting and when he gets the ball he gets the fans off their seat. A player that is not going to put his foot in but he gets kicked all over the place.

“But you need somebody that can go in and stay in the team. Lenny needs to build a stable team this year, rather than chopping and changing.

“Dembele will be a bit part player this season because Lenny has a big squad. This year is too important to blood youngsters.

“Lenny loves playing the kids but not in the big games. You will not see too many experiments this year.”

In other Celtic news, Alan Hutton reacts as 25-year-old enters talks over reported new deal.

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