Celtic are concerned over Karamoko Dembele’s development as the youngster struggles to break into Neil Lennon’s first-team plans, according to The Athletic.
It’s not often that a footballer’s career peaks at the age of 13 and, while we are in no way suggesting Dembele will never live up to his undoubted potential, perhaps too much focus was placed on that viral video.
You know the one we mean – the one where a 13-year-old Dembele is running rings around players five, six, seven years his senior, skipping through tackles as if he’s playing the game in fast-forward.
Four years on, Dembele is still only 17.
But, such was the clamour that followed his sudden emergence in 2016, many expected the London-born teenager to have become a first-team regular north of the border by now.
Instead, Dembele is just a handful of games into his senior career with only one of those appearances coming this season – a four-minute cameo off the bench against Hamilton in August.
But while Celtic have made an effort to manage expectations surrounding perhaps the most highly rated teenager in Scotland, the Athletic believes questions are being asked behind the scenes.
There are alleged concerns over how Dembele has developed physically.
Perhaps this is why Celtic are concerned about throwing him in at the deep end, against battle-scarred centre-halves and ankle-biting full-backs.