17-year-old Fulham striker Moussa Dembele has scored 5 goals and mad eon assists in just four appearances in the U21 Premier League so far this season, attracting the attention of Premier League champions Manchester United as well as Liverpool.
Fulham boss Martin Jol hopes to tie up the France U18 star beyond his current contract which runs until 2015 but emerging interest from the Red Devils and the Reds could temp the player to consider his options.
"He's only 17 now, but he's strong and scores goals every match. I took him up to the U21s already,” explained Jol.
"The boy loves it here. The only thing we've got to do is, in the next couple of years, try to keep him here."
Dembele arrived at Craven Cottage last year just two days after his 16th birthday and has developed to become an exciting prospect for the future for both club and country.
He was included in the squad (on the bench) for the Cottagers’ 2-1 defeat to Swansea City last Saturday and is expected to make his first-team debut imminently but the Dutch boss will be hopeful of keeping his star protégé under warps for fear of tempting the likes of David Moyes and Brendan Rodgers into pursuit.
At present his path to the starting line-up with Fulham is blocked by Darren Bent, Hugo Rodallega, Bryan Ruiz, and Dimitar Berbatov but given Fulham’s current relegation struggles, Jol could very well decide now is the time to give youth a chance.
image: © Tom Cuppens