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  • Delight as Celtic sign Karamoko Dembele on first professional deal

    Delight as Celtic sign Karamoko Dembele on first professional deal

    By: Joe Donnelly on 24 Dec, 2018 11:01

  • CELTIC are delighted to announce that Karamoko Dembele has signed his first full-time professional contract with the club, in a deal that sees him remain at Paradise until at least 2021.  

    Dembele joined the Hoops in 2013, aged 10-years-old, and made his Under-20s' debut against Hearts in October 2016 – coming off the bench for a side then seven years above his age group.   

    Speaking to the official Celtic website, Dembele said: “It means a lot to me to start my professional career at Celtic. I came here at a young age, and, after all the stuff me and family have been through together, it’ll be good to make them proud."

    When asked how he sees himself as a player, Dembele said he considers himself creative and always keen to put on a show. He named James Forrest as a particular source of inspiration, and admired the path Youth Academy graduates Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor, Anthony Ralston and Mikey Johnston have made into the Celtic first team.  

    The young midfielder also stressed the importance of his family network, and commended the efforts of everyone who’s played a part in his journey so far.

    "I’d like to say thank you to everyone, and I’d like to thank everyone for everything they’ve done for me," he said. "I’d also like to thank everyone for the training I’ve received, the discipline I’ve been taught, and the advice I’ve been given all the way.

    "Getting attention at a young age has been hard, but I’ve obviously had my family to help me through that. You need to be strong mentally, you need to stay grounded, and you just need to get on with everything that you do on a daily basis.

    "Seeing players come through the Academy and into the first team gives you hope, because you know they’ve taken the same path. That means you’ve got a chance to make it into the first team if you work hard and give it your all.

    "My brother Siriki, who plays for Peterborough United, first taught me how to play football. I wasn’t always interested in football, but he brought me in and he helped me. He helps me in everything I do. If I have a bad game, he’ll talk to me and he’ll say, ‘don’t be down, keep your morale high’.”

    Against the attention, Dembele remains humble and grounded – but that hasn’t stopped him setting his targets high, as he embarks on his professional career at the Hoops.

    My goal is to play for the first team,” he said. “As soon as I can, I’m going to try to get into the first team, 100 per cent. In the Reserves, every training session, every game – it’s all to prove myself to the manager that I can play in the first team.”

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