Friday, September 29, 2023

Forgotten wonderkid dubbed the ‘next Lionel Messi’ after skills went viral signs for Blackpool

Former Celtic wonderkid Karamoko Dembele has joined Blackpool on a season-long loan.

Tangerines manager Neil Critchley will be hoping the winger can help his side achieve promotion back to the Championship – but the 20-year-old has had one hell of a journey in the build up to his temporary move to Lancashire.

Dembele will be starring in League One this seasonX:@BlackpoolFC

Just seven years ago, he was compared to Lionel MessiGetty

Born in London, Dembele was raised in Scotland and joined Celtic at the age of 10.

At 13 years old, he was invited to a light technical training session with the club’s first team by Brendan Rodgers, who had just started his first spell as Celtic manager.

Fast forward to October that year, and the winger made his debut for Celtic’s under-20s side.

Clips of his skills and goals began to go viral online, as fans were left stunned by the youngster shining in the game, despite playing against boys seven years his senior.

Both Manchester City and Chelsea were keen on recruiting him to their academy, with England and Scotland also fighting over him at youth level.

As he was bursting on the scene, his former Celtic coach, David Feeney even compared him to Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.

“If he has the right guidance, then the sky is the limit for him,” he said.

Dembele went on to make his first team debut in 2019 at the age of 16, helping the club win the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Cup.

Dembele shocked the world in 2016X:@BRFOOTBALL

Dembele went on to score one goal for Celtic’s senior teamGetty

He represented both England and Scotland at youth level and hasn’t declared his international allegiance yetGetty

However, despite the hype around him as he rose through Celtic’s ranks, Dembele made just 10 appearances for the senior team in total.

He suffered a broken ankle during that time and went on to be released last summer following the end of his contract.

He then joined Ligue 1 side Brest, going on to make just 18 appearances in all competitions and failing to start a single league game.

But now, Blackpool will offer Dembele the chance to play regular minutes and kick start what was once tipped to be a seriously promising career.

“I’m super excited to be here and to meet the players, staff and supporters,” he said.

“I’ve had some good moments in my career so far at both Celtic and Brest, and those experiences have helped me develop as a person and a player, and hopefully that will help me during my time here.

“I like to bring excitement and entertainment to the pitch, and hopefully I can add some goals and assists to the team this season.”

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