Rodgers: Dembele has developed into ‘big game player’

first_imgMoussa Dembele is a “big game player” who is perfectly suited to pressure games, according to Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers.The French striker has been in top form, scoring 12 goals in his last six matches, and was named as Premiership Player of the Month on Thursday.Rodgers said that he had all the characteristics to perform in high-profile matches and said that he hoped the forward’s hot streak would continue when Rangers visit Celtic Park on Sunday.“He’s a big game player,” Rodgers said. “There’s no question about that, having worked with players that have that in big games and seeing that mentality in the biggest games. “Working with him you can see that he has that as a young player. He has a real inherent belief in his own ability but he works hard on a daily basis.“That’s why he can go into the games with confidence. Over the course of the season, and in particular the last month, you see he’s been clinical. He’s been taking his chances, looked a real threat and these types of occasions he’s been fantastic in.“So hopefully that can be the case at the weekend.”Dembele has scored 32 goals already this season and is closing in on Leigh Griffiths’ 40-goal tally from last term. Rodgers said he wasn’t surprised by the goalscoring feats and that he had told the player last summer that he could make a huge impact. “No [I’m not surprised], because of his calibre and his quality,” he said. “I think he would tell you that when we spoke in the summer I felt that he could be north of those numbers but what he has done is made himself available.“That’s the most important thing, that he’s available to play in games. “When he’s been in the team and played, he’s been fantastic.“He’s a big talent and a talent that I’m enjoying watching develop. “He’s improved significantly since he’s come in, I think, in every facet. His temperament, his technical ability , his understanding of the game [have all improved] and he’s a real team player. “He puts the work in and it’s great to see a young boy of 20 years of age maturing in that way.”last_img

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