Celtic pulled off something of a coup when they convinced highly rated striker Moussa Dembélé to move to the Scottish Premiership.
A number of clubs from England and further abroad had been pursuing the promising 19 year old over the twelve months, but it was Brendan Rodgers and Celtic who eventually won the race for his signature last month.
The youngster could be set for a big future at both club and international level, and Real Madrid manager and French legend Zinedine Zidane is already predicting big things from the forward.
Zidane told Scottish publication the Daily Record:
“Dembélé is an exciting player potentially for France, he has already shown what he is capable of.
“He is a very big singing for Celtic . I like to follow the progress of exciting, young, French players, and I know that Bayern, Monaco and Juventus were all looking at him – so it really is big that Celtic managed to sign him.”
The French under-20 international scored 17 goals in 46 appearances in what was a breakout season at Fulham, and while Zidane is glad that Dembélé is in a position to get first team football immediately at Celtic Park, he can use this move as a stepping stone for an even bigger transfer a few years down the line:
“I think it’s a good move for him, he needs first time football, to develop the skills he already he has and I think he will get that at Celtic.
He is still so young, he can look at another move in four or five years time and still then he will only be a very young player.”
Zidane also paid tribute to new Celtic manager Rodgers, particularly his record with developing young players:
“For now he has a chance to play for a club who are always challenging for the title. who will be playing Champions League Football, and for a coach who has played a big part in developing some of the best strikers currently in Europe.”
Dembélé will almost certainly make his competitive debut for Celtic in next week’s Champions League qualifier against either Flora Tallinn or Lincoln Red Imps.