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Can Brendan Rodgers Keep Dembele and Gordon at Parkhead?
The January transfer window is over and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has done a terrific job in keeping Moussa Dembele and Craig Gordon from Chelsea’s clutches for the rest of the campaign. Celtic have been dominant this season and the Bhoys have built up a solid 27-point lead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table with just 14 matches remaining.
Dembele is the poster boy of French football but he could be set for a successful future at Celtic Park if Rodgers can convince him that this is the best place for his development. The 20-year-old has been simply sublime this season; netting 23 goals in 39 appearances as well as setting up four more for his teammates.
His hat-trick goal in Celtic’s recent 5-2 victory over St Johnstone was phenomenal. To be fair, the build-up play was outstanding and his peers deserve plenty of credit for their intricacy in the box. Incredibly, this was Dembele’s second hat-trick of the season; who could forget his treble in the 5-1 thrashing of Rangers at Celtic Park back in September?
Meanwhile, Gordon’s competency and consistency between the posts has also contributed to Celtic’s domination at the other end of the field. Rodgers’ men have conceded 16 goals this season; fewer than all their title rivals.
With 23 victories in 24 league games, Celtic’s defensive unit has been just as important. Scoring goals is fine and dandy as long as you’re not shipping them; you need a top-class goalkeeper to win titles. Just ask Rodgers from his experience as Liverpool boss...
Celtic were crowned Scottish champions nine years in a row back from 1965 to 1974 and the Bhoys will have one eye on eclipsing that target in the near future. Rodgers’ side will secure a sixth successive top flight title in the coming months and the lack of competition will give Celtic a fantastic chance to extend that winning run to seven titles next season.
At just 20 years old, Dembele has the potential to blossom into an elite talent on the world stage – that’s how good he is. Celtic fans have had less than nine months to watch him in action but all signs point towards a successful future for the France U21 star.
Chelsea are just one of European football’s top sides who have eyes on Dembele and the offers could come rolling in ahead of the summer transfer window.
Celtic will travel to Ibrox in March for a contest that could mathematically clinch the title if results go their way. Rangers, currently level on points with Aberdeen in second spot, will be desperate to avenge September’s heavy defeat but Rodgers will have his troops ready for yet another Old Firm victory.
Dembele and Gordon will both be key as Celtic look to hand the initiative to Aberdeen, priced at EVS to ‘win without Celtic’ in bet365’s Scottish football betting markets, in the race for second spot. The former shall attempt to continue his incredible scoring run whilst Gordon will do his utmost to keep clean sheets; Celtic have won seven of their last 10 league games to nil.
— Trevor Sinclair (@trevor8sinclair) January 31, 2017
Celtic fans would love nothing more than to see Rangers fall below Aberdeen in their own battle but keeping Dembele and Gordon at the club might be Rodgers’ main task ahead of what could be a long summer. Dembele will leave eventually but supporters will be hoping that the French starlet stays for at least another year or two...