The summer transfer window is shaping up to be a crucial one in the long-term future of Peterborough United attacker Siriki Dembele who is going to have an important choice to make.
Dembele has been a star performer for Peterborough in League One for the past three seasons now and he has shown continued development in his qualities throughout those three campaigns.
In 2018/19 he managed to register five goals and six assists in 38 appearances, before bettering that with five goals and seven assists in 25 matches last term (Sofascore).
So far this season, Dembele has continued that trajectory with him managing to register seven goals and provide ten assists in 33 appearances to date (Sofascore). The 24-year-old has shown that he can operate effectively down the flanks and in more of a central role and he has improved his end product in the last third. He is now averaging 1.5 shots, 1.8 key passes and 3.3 successful dribbles per game (Sofascore).
The ability to both drive forward in possession and also pick the right pass or take an effort on goal at the right time are rare and sort after qualities. It is no surprise then to see him being linked heavily with moves away from Peterborough. Celtic have now emerged as the latest club to take a potential interest in him ahead of the summer window.
A move to Celtic would have to be seen as a forward step in his career with the Glasgow giants a side that will offer him the chance to shine in European club competitions, as well as compete for regular domestic titles.
The Scottish side also need an injection of freshness and potential following what has been a troubling season for them where they have lost the league to Rangers.
Dembele could flourish with the quality of players around him at Celtic and provide them with another different sort of attacking option. The hope would be that he could have a similar sort of impact as Ryan Kent has at Rangers, after he was signed on the back of successful loan spells in League One and the Championship.
However, one obvious downside to the move is that he would be going to a club who are facing an uncertain future in terms of who their manager will be for next term. Whoever comes in might not for whatever reason view Dembele as a player who plays the way they want to do. So, if he is brought in as a club signing, rather than a new manager’s signing then he could be left in the cold.
As for staying with Peterborough, Dembele you imagine would be open to that especially if they go on to secure promotion to the Championship. He would not have to move to a new club and try and earn the faith of his manager and he would not have to get used to new team-mates and create connections on the field with new players.
However, if he remains with Posh and next season he has a down year where he is not as impressive, then he could well see interest in him dissipate. That might then well be a decision which he looks back with regret further down the line in his career.
The 24-year-old has plenty of time to weigh up his options, and it is vital for his career development that he manages to identify the correct one. Speculation will likely continue until more is known over his long-term future.