Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Celtic

Dembele can hit the heights for French senior side, says Rodgers


By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers believes Moussa Dembele's brilliant hat-trick for France Under-21s confirmed the striker was back to his best.

The 21-year-old Hoops hitman scored three times in 12 minutes for Les Bleuets in their 3-1 win over Slovenia in Domzale on Monday night.

Rodgers tipped Dembele to make the step up to the senior squad "in time", but was for now happy to see him fully recovered from a hamstring injury which kept him out for two months earlier in the season.

Ahead today's trip to Ross County (12.30pm), the Ulsterman said: "It was a case of managing his fitness.

"He needed the time with the injury that he has had and now you see him back to full fitness.

"He took his goals really well, especially the one from outside the box, it was a great finish.

"He is an outstanding talent.

"There are obviously a lot of talented players that are in the national team already.

"But there is no doubt that he has the belief and the talent to do that (step up).

"He showed that here at Champions League level and I have no doubt that he can make that step. Whether it is going to be before the World Cup or not, we shall see.

"He is certainly a big talent and he can do more than what he is doing, scoring goals at club level and for the Under-21s and, like you see with other countries, if you can make that step up, which I believe Moussa can, then he has a great future at full international level."

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph