Wednesday 20 September 2017

Hat-trick wouldn't satisfy me - Dembele

Celtic's Moussa Dembele. Photo: PA
Celtic's Moussa Dembele. Photo: PA

Roddy Forsyth

Prior to his arrival from Fulham last summer, few fans on either side of the Old Firm divide had heard of Moussa Dembélé

Well, they know all about him now. When he was first paraded as a Celtic player, the 19-year-old declared that he had come to further his ambition to be the best striker in the world.

That distinction is not currently in sight, but from Rangers' point of view, Dembélé has been an enfant terrible.

He has scored in each of his three appearances against them and marked his debut with a hat-trick in the 5-1 demolition at Celtic Park in September and, with 31 goals for the season, he remains the most clear danger to Rangers as they make their way to the east end of Glasgow once more.

Dembélé is quietly spoken - at times almost inaudible - but he is not shackled by false modesty.

Reflecting on his hat-trick against Rangers, he said: "I could have scored more. If I scored three, then I could score five, but I still wouldn't be happy because I had scored five. I hope it is going to be even more than three (tomorrow)."

Celtic turned apparent interest from Chelsea in January into publicity about a minimum £20m price tag for Dembélé's abundant, but still raw, talent. This week, former Rangers striker Ally McCoist said of the valuations of £30-40m: "Spare me that!"

The player himself said: "Am I worth £40m? I don't know. It feels great because it means I am not doing badly, I think. If people talk about a change in price tags, it means we have done a great job - myself and the club."

Since Celtic returned from their winter break in Dubai, Dembélé has failed to find the net only once in eight games - against St Johnstone at home on January 25 - and has scored 13 goals in the other seven outings.

Asked if it was realistic to conjecture Celtic setting an Old Firm record with a win by seven clear goals - the highest derby margin was the Hoops' 7-1 romp in the 1957 Scottish League Cup final - Dembélé said: "First of all, we have to get three points. If we can score more goals then we will do it. . .

"They will probably try to stop me but that isn't a change from any other team in the league." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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