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Paris return set to inspire Celtic’s Dembele – Rodgers

Paris (AFP) – Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers thinks Moussa Dembele will go on to become one of the best strikers in the world and he is hoping the Frenchman will thrive against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

Dembele, 21, was born in the Paris suburbs and was on PSG’s books as a youngster before opting to move to England to turn professional with Fulham.

He then joined Celtic last year and has scored 38 goals in 61 games for the Scottish champions, becoming a key player in a side that has still never lost a domestic match under Rodgers.

“For the boys returning to Paris there’s always a big motivation. Moussa left Paris when he was 15 and went to Fulham where he progressed really well in the formative stage of his career,” Rodgers, who also has France under-21 midfielder Olivier Ntcham in his squad, said in the French capital on Tuesday.

Dembele recently scored a 12-minute hat-trick playing for France under-21s against Slovenia and will relish the chance to run out at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.

“I think he has the quality to go right to the top. I’ve worked with top talents especially at that end of the field and I certainly think he is on course to be one of the best strikers.

“He has shown it for Celtic and France under-21s and I’m sure (senior France coach) Didier Deschamps will be looking at the next step for him.”

Despite Dembele’s enormous potential, he has only scored six goals so far this season, and none in Europe. And there is a chance that he will start on the bench in Paris with Leigh Griffiths another option available to Rodgers.

“We wouldn’t want it any other way. As a manager you need that competition,” said the former Liverpool boss.

“They are two players with different qualities, but what I can get from both is goals. Leigh has shown his quality in the Champions League already in qualifying and at Anderlecht.”

Celtic are already eliminated from the Champions League with two games still to play in Group B and were beaten 5-0 at home by PSG in September.

However, they can clinch the consolation of a berth in the Europa League knockout rounds by bettering Anderlecht’s result at home to Bayern Munich.

Otherwise, the Scottish side will have another chance to do that when they entertain Anderlecht next month.

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