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HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KARAMOKO, 17 TODAY

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BARCELONA, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City….and Gillingham. Karamo Dembele, Celtic’s tiny tot sensation, has been linked with all four since he first burst upon the football scene.

The London-born wonderkid, who was brought up in Glasgow, celebrates his 17th birthday today.

Dembele took the headlines when he was introduced to the Celtic Under-20 side as a 13 year old substitute in a game against Hearts. Suddenly, talent-spotters everywhere had been alerted to the precocious talents of the mesmerising winger.

Neil Lennon had enough faith in Karamoko to give him his first-team debut in the last Premiership game of the previous campaign as a second-half substitute for on-loan Oliver Burke against Hearts. He celebrated his baptism by playing his part in a 2-1 success with Mikey Johnston hammering in both goals.

The up-and-at-’em attitude of the teen made him an instant hit with the Parkhead faithful and was on the substitutes’ bench the following week when the Hoops repeated the scoreline against the same Edinburgh opponents to lift the Scottish Cup on the iconic date of May 25.

Dembele, who has made two appearances from the bench this season, is on the wanted list of some of football’s grandest clubs – but credit must be given to English League One outfit Gillingham for making a bold loan move in last month’s transfer window.

Boss Lennon knocked back their ambitious bid for the youngster who has represented both Scotland and England at youth level. The Hoops gaffer has plans for the wonder Bhoy for the remainder of this term.

CQN would like to send birthday wishes to Karamoko today – and we hope he keeps up the good work!

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