By Frank McAvennie

13th Jan, 2021 | 5:00pm

'Listen...' - Exclusive: McAvennie drops Dembele verdict after Celtic sighting

Frank McAvennie claimed Celtic youngster Karamoko Dembele needs to “box more clever” after a disappointing cameo in a 1-1 draw against Hibernian.

The Parkhead legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, said that he expected the “wonderful” 17-year-old to be a regular fixture in the first team by now.

Dembele was named on the bench on Monday night after 13 of Celtic’s first-team players were forced to self-isolate when Christopher Jullien tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning from a mid-season trip to Dubai.

The teenager was brought on with 11 minutes to go for what was his first appearance in the Scottish Premiership since August.

He made his senior debut for the Hoops in May 2019 and impressed in a 2–1 victory against Hearts at Celtic Park.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on the latest sighting of Dembele, McAvennie said: “Listen, he never done nothing for me.

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“It is not the boy’s fault though. It was like playing in the youth team the other night. There was so many youngsters on the pitch towards the end.

“I like the boy Dembele, but it is different playing against seasoned pros. You cannot just run by seasoned pros. He needs to be more clever.

“He is a wonderful player so hopefully he will get more of a chance from now on in.

“It is a long time since he hit the headlines and I expected him to be in the team by now – but I do not see him every day.”    

In other news, Alex McLeish suggests the real reason for Jullien going to Dubai with the Celtic first team.