Dembele coach: New Celtic star can be just as good as this Premier League star man
By Alex Taylor
Former Fulham manager Kit Symons has likened new Celtic star Moussa Dembele to a young Romelu Lukaku.
The 19-year-old striker joined the Hoops on a free transfer on Tuesday night after three years at Craven Cottage.
Dembele has caught the eye of leading European clubs after an outstanding season in the English second tier in which he scored 17 goals and provided seven assists in all competitions.
Symons compared the teenager from the Championship to a £28million player with 60 Premier League goals by the age of 22.
“He’s a little bit like a young Romelu Lukaku when he first came to Chelsea,” Symons told the Sky Sports website. “He needs to be pushed a little bit but he could go on to emulate what Lukaku is doing now. I believe that.
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“Moussa came in from PSG and made an initial impact in the youth team. Even then he was a strong lad in his age group with pace and power.
“He scored a shed load of goals at youth level and looked a real threat and a real player. If anything it was probably a little bit too easy for him within his own age group.
“I was manager of the Under-18s and the Under-21s at Fulham and he pretty much missed out on the 21s. He went straight from the youth team to the senior group and that was because he was able to deal with all the demands of men’s football.”
The 19-year-old was hailed as the next Thierry Henry when he joined Fulham from Paris Saint-Germain in 2012 initially on a three-year contract. The deal was extended by a further 12 months last summer when both parties decided to trigger the option of a 12-month extension.
Dembele had a medical at Tottenham in the January transfer window but the deal collapsed and he returned to west London.
Fulham will now only recoup the £250,000 fee they paid for the Frenchman due to Fifa rules for players moving overseas as opposed to staying in England.
In other Celtic news, the Scottish giants have been told to increase their offer for a key Premier League target.