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‘I’M FIT AND READY FOR ACTION,’ INSISTS DEMBELE

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DEFIANT Moussa Dembele has told Brendan Rodgers: “I am fit and raring to go.”

The French Under-21 striker came on as a 61st-minute substitute for Leigh Griffiths and rifled in two goals as Celtic overcame Hibs 4-2 in a dramatic Betfred League Cup semi-final.

Amazingly, Dembele has scored in EVERY game in which he has played in the competition.

He netted five last season – including the semi-final winner against Sevco Rangers – and he celebrated his return to the trophy with his double strike against Neil Lennon’s Ednburgh battlers.

Dembele is now pushing for a starting place in the Hoops line-up and could be in the running to lead the attack against Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Wednesday.

He said confidently: “I have been fit for a few weeks now.

“I have been waiting for my chance to come in and do it. I’m happy for me with my two goals and, of course, I am happy for Celtic.

“We are now in another Cup Final and that is good.

“I am ready when the manager sends me on the pitch.

“And I am fit to produce what I managed last season.”

Dembele, whose only other goal this season came in the 4-0 win over Ross County at Parkhead on September 10, fired in 32 efforts in the previous campaign.

His transfer value rocketed into the £30million bracket after arriving from Fulham for a £500,000 Development Fee.

However, after his hamstring problems in the run-in to last term, Griffiths, with seven goals, took over as Rodgers’ first choice in recent games.

Hoops legend John Hartson admitted he understood how Dembele felt.

The former Welsh international powerhouse said: “As a centre-forward myself, I wanted to play in every game.

“If I was scoring, I wanted to be involved in the next game.

“There’s a serious bit of competition going on there between Dembele and Griffiths.

“Clearly, they both want to start. It’s about keeping both players happy.”

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