Karamoko Dembele Makes England U15s Debut After Playing for Scotland in November

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistDecember 20, 2016

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 30: Karamoko Dembele of Scotland is seen during the Scotland v Northern Ireland match during the U16 Vicrory Shield Tournament at The Oriam at Heriot Watt University on October 30, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Celtic starlet Karamoko Dembele made his England under-15 debut in Saturday's win over Turkey, a little more than one month after representing Scotland under-16s in his international debut. 

Dembele, 13, made his first appearance for Scotland under-16s on November 1 in the 2016 Victory Shield, but the youngster has now switched allegiances to play for the country of his birth:

B/R Football @brfootball

Celtic wonderkid Karamoko Dembele has made his England U15 debut...just one week after making his Scotland bow 👀 (📷 via IG/karamoko99) https://t.co/20QhwuFw5K

Alex Richards and Darren Cooney reported for the Daily Record that the Scottish Football Association looks "to be losing the battle" to keep hold of the prodigy after he turned his back on the team.

Dembele turned out as a second-half substitute in Victory Shield fixtures against Wales and the Republic of Ireland, and BigSport provided a glimpse of just how comfortable the attacking midfielder already looks on the ball:

BigSport @BigSportGB

13-year-old Karamoko Dembele's outrageous first touch on his Scotland U16's debut… https://t.co/WfSeTpVdaY

The decision is an awkward one for the teenager considering he has emerged as a part of Celtic's under-20 development team, having accepted an offer to train with England's youth teams last month.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan is quoted by Richards and Cooney and said the governing body will do its utmost to convince the youngster: "We can only do everything we possibly can in our power. Ultimately the choice will come down to the boy and his parents. But we will do all we actually can to make him a Scotland player."

The Glasgow-based talent could still reverse his decision and choose to return to the Scottish setup in future, although it's uncertain as to whether the SFA stands a chance of luring him back to its ranks.

Dembele was born in south London to Ivorian parents before moving to Glasgow as an infant, meaning he could also opt to represent the Ivory Coast instead of the two home nations in future.

Richards and Cooney also mentioned in their report that Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers did not give his blessing to include Dembele in the club's under-20 team, although the youth is so far backing up his promise.


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