Reports in various media outlets in Scotland and England, including those in the Evening Standard, are reporting that West Ham United have made a £20million bid for Celtic striker Moussa Dembele.
The 20-year-old striker only arrived at Celtic Park in the summer after being signed on a free transfer from Fulham (although The Cottagers eventually received £500,000 in compensation due to the bosman ruling) but has attracted the attention of a number of Premier League clubs after making an incredible impact in Glasgow.
Dembele has become an idol for supporters after scoring nineteen goals in thirty-six appearances for Celtic so far this season. The French under-21 striker has proven to be prolific in front of goal and has already helped The Hoops to lift the Scottish League Cup whilst securing the remaining domestic trophies appears to be something of an inevitability. Bredan Rodgers is keen to hold on to his young superstar but significant offers in excess of £20,000,000 may be too good to turn down.
What would he bring?
The simple answer is goals
Dembele possesses all of the attributes required to be one of the best strikers in Europe. Powerful, pacey, strong and clinical in front of goal, it is only a matter of time before the young Frenchman moves on to bigger and better things. His scoring record this season has been hugely impressive and, for those doubting the standard of opposition north of the border, the brace that he claimed against Manchester City in the Champions League demonstrates that he can be just as prolific against one of Europe’s leading clubs.
However, despite his astronomical rise to prominence and remarkable form in front of goal, Dembele still remains something of a rough diamond and he is far from being the finished article. At 20-years-of-age the young striker still has plenty to learn and he is an unproven force in the Premier League. Any potential buyer would need to smooth off his rough edges, but there is no doubt that Dembele has an abundance of talent and potential.
Is a move likely?
Celtic certainly will not want to lose their leading goal scorer and Brendan Rodgers has already made it clear that he is determined to keep hold of the Frenchman for another ‘two or three seasons’. However, in reality it is unlikely that Celtic would be prepared to turn down a substantial offer in excess of £20,000,000 for a player that cost them only £500,000 six months ago.. There is no doubt that West Ham, with their transfer war-chest over-flowing with the riches of the Premier League, would be more than capable of submitting a bid that will turn heads in the boardroom at Celtic Park.
In contrast, Dembele is settled in Glasgow and, with the guarantee of regular game time and the adulation of the Celtic supporters, the Frenchman may be more than happy to continue his development under the guidance of Rodgers.
Slaven Bilic has certainly set his stall out and made it clear that he wants to bring in some additional firepower to boost his forward line for the remainder of the season. Celtic will fight tooth and nail to keep their star striker but the financial clout of The Hammers will likely result in an offer being put forward that the Scottish champions would simply find too good to turn down. Therefore the decision will lie with Dembele himself – is he happy to bide his time in Scottish football and continue his development or is he itching to challenge himself at a higher level? A move to the Premier League may be enough to tempt he Frenchman to make a return to London.
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