Neil Lennon says Karamoko Dembele is “very, very special for his age” but the Celtic boss insists he will take the “softly, softly” approach when it comes to developing the youngster.
Scotland Under-17 international Dembele only turned 16 in February but he was handed his senior Celtic debut towards the end of last season in a 2-1 win over Hearts at Parkhead.
The talented winger made a big impression on the Bhoys’ management and he is already being tipped for a bright future with the Scottish champions, who are going for the quadruple-treble next season.
Dembele is expected to feature more regularly in Celtic’s first team during the 2019/20 campaign but Lennon, who was appointed permanently this summer, doesn’t want to put too much pressure on the starlet at this early stage of his career.
He told The Scottish Sun: “You have to go softly, softly with them at times as it’s about physical development too. We’re delighted with the talent they have. We think they are future players possibly.
“Karamoko is very, very special for his age. But again you don’t want to hype him up as he’s already had a lot of publicity. We’ll just keep him ticking along in the background and he’ll come along the way he should do.”
Celtic, who are heavy 1.33 favourites to defend their Scottish Premiership title, kick off their domestic campaign with a home clash against St. Johnstone on August 3.
The Bhoys are currently gearing up for their Champions League qualifier against Sarajevo on July 9, with the first leg taking place in Bosnia and Herzegovina before the return leg on July 17.