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LENNY HAILS HISTORY BHOY KARAMOKO, PRAISES DEBUT TEEN SCOTT

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WONDERKID Karamoko Dembele became a History Bhoy when he came on as a 73rd-minute substitute in the 2-0 loss to Cluj in Romania last night.

The highly-rated winger is now the club’s youngest-ever player to perform in a European tie at the age of 16 when he made his appearance as he replaced Mikey Johnston.

Dembele, who made his top side debut in the 2-1 win over Hearts in the final Premiership match of last season in May, took over the mantle from John McCluskey who was just a few days older at 16 years and 339 days when he played against Jeunesse Esch in a European Cup-tie in Luxembourg on September 28 1977.

The present protege was born in London on February 2003, making him 61 days younger than McCluskey, brother of the better-known George.

Neil Lennon, who also included the elusive teenager in his Scottish Cup Final squad against the Tynecastle season when the Parkhead men sealed the treble treble, was delighted for the little entertainer.

He told the Daily Record: “We think very highly of Karamoko. But the milestone wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.

“I wanted to give him some experience and I want to keep him around the first-team squad because I think he’s a real talent.

“For him to get that little bit of experience at this level, allied to Scott Robertson’s performance delighted me.”

Lennon introduced teenage central midfielder Robertson to the starting line-up for his baptism and the cool and controlled youngster slotted in beside skipper-for-the-night Olivier Ntcham, who produced an excellent 90 minutes, despite the loss.

The Hoops gaffer added: “Scott made a terrific debut.

“I thought it was a superb debut for an 18-year-old to come into that environment and play so maturely, with a lot of composure, as well.”

TOOTHLESS IN TRANSYLVANIA

 

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