John Kennedy has explained why a lack of game time has denied Karamoko Dembele game time!
The winger has been the most talked about player to come through the club academy in the last decade but two years after making his first team debut he is still waiting to start a top team match.
Karamoko has always been smaller than players of his own age but has bulked up impressively without losing any of his explosive pace or skills.
This season comes to a halt away to Hibs this afternoon with Kennedy explaining to The Herald the reason for the rationed appearances from the teenager:
Karamoko came on and was excellent. He got his goal, which was good for him and will give him a lift. He’ll certainly be in the squad for tomorrow’s game and, if we can give him more minutes, then we’ll certainly do that.
He is young and he’s still slight so we have to look after him. We brought him on for 10 minutes at Pittodrie and he got a bit longer the other night so if we can increase that again we’ll do it.
You see some 16 and 17-year-olds who are already fully developed but Karamoko still has some growing to do on that basis. We see him on a daily basis and you have to remember that he hasn’t played much this season due to the pandemic restrictions.
He probably hasn’t played a full game since the beginning of the season, really – or, at best, October with the reserve team.
As a result, physically he isn’t at the stage he would be in the course of a normal season, so we’ve had to nurture him back in, but we’ve seen improvements in him at training. He’s getting better and that’s why we’ve given him those opportunities in the last couple of weeks.
Against St Johnstone on Wednesday Adam Montgomery made his Celtic debut, playing for an hour before being replaced by Greg Taylor.