KARAMOKO DEMBELE will be eligible to play for the Celtic first team on Sunday with his 16th birthday this Friday!

The player who made headlines back when he was 13 has been developing well under Brendan Rodgers watchful eye, but his young age has excluded him from playing in the Reserve League for Celtic with the developmental side.

Karamoko did get a run out because he was eligible to play in a Cup game for Celtic’s second string and scored not long into his debut.

The attacking midfielder will be eligible to play for both the Reserve side and the Celtic first team after Friday.

During a sit-down interview with CelticTV yesterday, Brendan Rodgers hinted he would not be against giving any of his young players game time if he thinks they deserve it or need a taste of things to come.

Armstrong Oko-Flex made the bench for Celtic’s win against Kilmarnock, but with the game poised at 0-0, there was no way the manager could bring the 16-year-old on. We’ve seen Brendan bring in Ewan Henderson and Mikey Johnston in recent times when he thought they could be of help to his side.

Now that Dembele is available for selection, will the manager be tempted to give Dembele a taste of first-team action?

Here’s what he said to Celtictv about playing the young guys.

“Age is no barrier for me, if they have the qualities. Having come through youth development myself, I was 15 years as a youth coach, so I understand it.

“The players aren’t fully ready but you have to give them that little taste, especially if they are doing well but there comes a point where they continue to do well and if they don’t get the opportunity to do well it can go the other way for them.”

Make of that what you will.

Dembele has signed his first pro-contract with the club which kicks in on his 16th Birthday.


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