Celtics boss believes he has Unearthed new Drogbaa
Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic striker Moussa Dembele has the potential to become the next Didier Drogba.
The 20-year-old Frenchman was the stand-out performer in the Parkhead club’s thrilling 3-3 Champions League draw with Manchester City on Wednesday night, scoring twice to take his tally to 12 goals in 16 games.
And Rodgers believes the bargain £500,000 summer signing from Fulham has the striking prowess to go to the pinnacle of the game.
‘There’s no doubt,’ said the Celtic boss. ‘I worked with Didier Drogba at Chelsea and I think he’s of that ilk.
‘Moussa is still young. Didier came into Chelsea at 24 or something like that. This boy’s just turned 20.
‘He’s still a baby, but he’s tough. You can see on nights such as Wednesday that he is a big reference for the team.
‘What I see in Moussa is that he’s a big-game player. He really comes alive in the big games.
‘He has a belief. I think he said he wanted to be the world’s best player when he came in and so we shall see. He is making nice strides, isn’t he?
‘There is still a way to go for him. I think he is a boy who can get to the top but there are some things to work upon yet.’
Celtic reaped huge profits by selling Virgil van Dijk, Victor Wanyama and Fraser Forster to Southampton for £12million each.
Asked if Dembele can smash through the £15m barrier if Celtic agreed to sell him, however, Rodgers responded: ‘How much? Are you saying £15m? That’s his left toe.
His value is what someone will pay for him. If he can show up like that in the big games, that’s your value. But you will get nothing for cheap out of here.’
Rodgers also insisted there was ‘no chance’ of the club being tempted by a quick sale and cashing in before the time is right.
‘The reinforcement of what he’s doing now is why he came, which is about development,’ he continued. ‘He could have gone to other huge clubs in England or in Europe but he came here and was happy to work and to learn and he’s actually loving his life here.
‘He is a great boy. It’s nice for him but he has to go out and perform at the same level against Dundee (at the weekend).
‘Again, I have found his representatives very up-front, very honest, and the riches they could have received as well as the boy, it’s a huge credit to them that they wanted to come and find a different experience where development was the priority.
‘This boy is just starting out, has made brave steps and was a brave boy to move away from Paris at 14 to London.
He could have stayed there in the Championship but he wanted a new thing, he wanted developed, he saw we worked with Suarez and Sturridge, and so can we improve his movement which will improve him as a player and his value.’
Dembele’s form is, however, likely to curtail starting opportunities for last season’s 40-goal man Leigh Griffiths.
Insisting the Scotland striker will get game-time, Rodgers believes the 26-year-old is now mature enough to put the team first.
‘I have a squad of 26 here who are all fully fit and fighting, and I wish I could give them all a game,’ he said. ‘It is the hardest part of football.
‘I see guys changing their lifestyle and giving everything to be the best they can be but then I can’t give them a game. Unfortunately, some players will miss out at different times.
‘Leigh was unfortunate when he got injured. He was playing, he was scoring goals. Now he is out of the team and Moussa is playing. But we will need everyone.
‘Leigh will get game-time, there’s no doubt about that.’
culled from dailymail.co.uk