Karamoko Dembele in line for Champions League next season as ex Celtic star set to cash in on Blackpool brilliance

Every player dreams of hearing that famous Champions League anthem.

And for Karamoko Dembele that may well have seemed a million miles last season. But fast forward 12 months and the former Celtic youngster could be ready to showcase the talents many have predicted since a young lad in the Hoops academy. A rising talent and making his debut for the reserves at just 15 and playing under-20s football at just 13, high hopes and big clubs had eyes all on the pint-sized winger as his dazzling skills and undoubted talent attracted interest from across the globe.

His Celtic career never took off as it was expected and a move to France with minnows Brest on a four-year deal was the outcome for the midfielder back in the summer of 2022. A first season of struggles and lack of top team minutes meant it was time to move on again to find himself and a club and manager ready to invest in his talents. Many would not have predicted a move to Blackpool in England's League One - but sometimes one step back makes two big strides forward and for Dembele that is EXACTLY what has happened.

A dream season in England ended with a HAT-TRICK of personal accolades for Dembele. The 21-year-old was named the Supporters' and Players' Player of the Season as well as the Junior Seasiders' Player of the Season. Finally, it seems that the arrival season we have all been waiting for arrived for the youngster and so much so, his boss for the campaign Neil Critchley has placed a lofty prediction on his shoulders amid reported interest from English Premier League outfits such as Everton, Nottingham Forest and West Ham.

Critchley explained: "He’s been outstanding. He quite rightly won the supporters’ and players’ player of the season. He always takes the game to the opposition, he’s nearly got double figures in goals, he’s got double figures in assists. For his first full season in senior football, I think he’s a really exciting player for the future. I think he can go to the top. Of course we would love to keep him but sometimes you’re a victim of your own success in terms of developing these players for other clubs- that’s the loan market."

But what next for Dembele? Well, he is still contracted to French outfit Brest for another two seasons and they will no doubt have taken a big notice in his form this season. They themselves are over-performing and could be ready to bank a golden ticket to the newly revamped Champions League alongside Europe's biggest and best sides next season.

They are currently flying high in THIRD spot in Ligue 1, and just tucked behind big hitters PSG and Monaco. They have just three final fixtures to play against clubs currently sitting tenth and below in the standings with the next two matches at home. Nearest rivals for the automatic qualifying spot are Lille, who are one point adrift and with the harder games on paper including Lyon and Nice.

Should Brest finish in the bronze medal position, they will be ready to take on the big guns and Dembele and his club could well decide it is the best place for him to be. It could turn out to be an incredible 12 months turnaround from a man out of sight and mind to running out to THAT iconic sound-track and competing against the biggest and best.

It may have come later than predicted - but is this the beginning of a big and bright future for Karamoko? Now seems the time to cash-in on that Blackpool brilliance. Strap yourself in, it is bound to be a hell of a journey.