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Dembele Leaves With Connell. Somewhere, These Guys Stopped Developing.

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So the news is official, and we all suspected this.

Karamoko Dembele has been allowed to leave the club. To the best of our knowledge he has nothing lined up. We don’t know whether he wanted to stay or expressed his intention to leave, but one of the longest running sagas in the club’s recent history has come to the ignominious end that many of us feared that it might. He didn’t do enough to stay.

Along with his departure, the club announced that it had parted company with a number of others. One name stood out amongst them; Luca Connell, and I know that for some people that was a greater shock than seeing Dembele depart.

I think we always believed that Dembele would go, one way or the other. But Connell was signed as a very promising prospect and he has not justified that tag. So what happened here? Somewhere along the line, the progress of these players stalled.

Somewhere along the line, they stopped moving forward. Their development ceased to be happening. Part of this is the mess Scottish football has made of the reserve and youth leagues and that’s not Celtic’s fault, but it’s clear that there have been failings inside the club as well. These guys were never going to play first team football on a regular basis, not at this point, but they could have been pushed for that two or three years from now.

Lennon’s two years at Celtic Park did real damage to certain areas of the club, as some of us always suspected that they might. He signed Connell but had no idea what to do with him. He didn’t know what to do with Dembele or others either.

Ange arrived too late to make a difference to these two players, they were already on a backwards trajectory. He will have an impact over time, but he needs real help from the club hierarchy, who need help from the governing bodies … and I’m not holding my breath.

These were two promising footballers and neither should have stalled like this, and whilst there are many reasons why this may have happened at least some of the blame for it lies in the incoherent way we bring our youth players on.

We still have to find a berth for our young players for next season, and I worry a lot about the impact of their not playing at all, which is marginally worse than having them play at the miserable level of the Lowland League.

A permanent solution is needed fast.

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4 comments

  • Seppington says:

    The permanent solution should be the return of the reserve league.

    Connell seemed to perform well at Queens Park, I thought he might have been given a chance. Dembele got his and didn’t do enough, clearly. I think Ange has looked at all of the young players through all age levels, thought that these guys aren’t first team ready right now and that’s what we need. Better to save the wage money spent just keeping these guys around if there are younger players with a similar level of ability/potential. getting drilled in Angeball for a season or two longer coming through. Put the money saved on these guys’ wages towards new first team ready players and show a touch of patience with the youth, who will ideally be conquering a resurrected reserve league with Angeball panache on their way to first team readiness.

  • Stephen McAdam says:

    If Ronnie Delia hadnt got the job Calmac and tierney would never have made it at Celtic! Under that fraud lennon think on that!! Rogic also!! Still it seems to escape that occult he has amongst our support and yes I backed him against that poison and their hate campaign in 2011 but really he was detrimental to the growth of the club on many many levels and had never any right to ever be in that job! Thank God for Ronnie Delia! I tell you that then Rodgers, they saved those players and their careers and in doing so saved us millions into the bargin

  • Jimmy says:

    Bottom line is they are not good enough. Seen an incredible story on a Celtic site midweek suggesting Connell is a natural replacement for Rogic. Bizarre stuff. Good luck to both of them, hopefully young enough to pursue a decent career.

    • Quinny says:

      Leave Lennon out of it , its Scottish Football that is to blame … all players should be playing competitive Football , the more you play the chaff falls by the wayside …. good players can always play , if they’re good enough they will make it … you need a bit of skill , hunger and focus , get super fit and cause carnage to get noticed .

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