Moussa is back, and not just scoring for Celtic.
Tonight he blasted a hat-trick for the French Under 21’s.
There is no doubt whatsoever that he is a hot property. There is no doubt whatsoever that he is a class act. He is one of the finest young players in the UK at the moment and he is only going to get better. Most people expect him to leave next summer.
But what if he didn’t?
Moussa is only 20 and he is not yet the finished article. He could be better. He could easily learn some new tricks and playing in the first team at Parkhead every week would assure that he does. He would also get the exposure of the Champions League, where his skills would undoubtedly come to the fore.
Moussa is a star. He will leave our club. That is inevitable.
He will play at the top of the game.
But there’s no need for that to happen soon. He’s only been at the club 18 months; there was a time when you got four years out of a player at the very least. And Moussa should be looking to stay at our club for at least that long.
He has already proved himself a top footballer. He has more than earned a new contract, a bumper deal like the one Kieran has, tying him to our club for just as long. The big move will come and when it does we’ll most certainly get back the money we spend now.
But we might also get the next two Champions League Group Stage pots of gold at the same time.
If he is good enough to go for a massive fee then he’s good enough to keep. He’s the sort of monster talent every team would love to sign. Our chances of getting to those Groups are materially better with Moussa Dembele in our squad.
Brendan likes to have his players on long term deals. He likes continuity. As I said earlier, he is a builder and a consolidator and will not want to see this team broken up. He wants to grow it, not watch it dismantled for cold hard cash.
I think Moussa would stay at Celtic a couple more years. He knows he’s getting better here. He knows he’s now got the eye of the French national coach. If he keeps scoring at the Under 21 level they cannot ignore him. If he scores in European ties they won’t ignore him.
Deal him in Celtic. Nothing else we do would make more sense, or reap greater rewards. This is a special footballer, perhaps the most clear-cut case of a potentially world class striker we’ve had since the King of Kings was playing for us.
The feeling is growing after the Bayern game at home that this team could achieve big things. It will. But that means keeping its big players. There is no doubt that Moussa is one, if not the, biggest. It is time we acknowledged it and made him an offer he won’t refuse.