Celtic created history on Monday (3 October) when they handed 13-year-old Karamoko Dembele a debut with their U20 developmental squad against Hearts. The playmaker came on as a second-half substitute despite being seven years below the age group.
The Scottish club's supporters have yet another Dembele to look forward to as the youngsters' namesake Moussa Dembele has been lighting up the league with the first-team after arriving from Fulham in the summer. The France U20 striker has scored 12 goals thus far in 17 games in all competitions.
Thirteen-year-old Dembele shot to fame after impressing for the U13 side in the St Kevin's Boys club tournament in Dublin this summer. Celtic were without a number of regular U20 players like Ross Doohan, Anthony Ralston, Mark Hill, Regan Hendry, Calvin Miller and PJ Crossan, who are on international duty with the Scotland U19 side.
The regular players' absence prompted manager Tommy McIntyre to name the young Ivorian playmaker among the substitutes. Dembele came on with nine minutes to go in the game to replace Jack Hutchinson, who also created a record at the end of last season when he became the youngest player and goal scorer for Celtic in their final game of the 2015/16 campaign.
If Dembele continues his progress, he is likely to break Atkinson's record. The youngster came on with the Hoops 3-1 up and a club report stated that the midfielder did not look 'out of place' despite playing at a level seven years above his age group.
"A magical moment was then crystallised for a talented young Celtic prospect as 13-year-old Karamoko Dembele replaced Aitchison with just under 10 minutes left to make his debut at that level – seven years above his age group. The diminutive playmaker didn't look out of place and played his part in the closing stages," the reported stated on Celtic's official site.