Love & Hurt the Celtic Way: Moussa Dembele

In his regular column, Ronan Kearney chronicles the emotional rollercoaster of following his beloved Celtic. This time he looks at the inevitable heartbreak that his latest French flame will surely cause him.  


I somehow stumbled upon an article on an American website a few weeks ago: ‘5 signs you’ve outgrown your relationship.’

The author was anonymous but given the events of the past few weeks, it would not surprise me if the words were the work of our very own French favourite, Moussa Dembele.

Anyone who has been on the end of a break up knows the phrase; ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’

Moussa has given Celtic a phenomenal service across the season. At the end of last season, if someone told me that our 40 goal sensation Leigh Griffiths would struggle for a game this time around I would have asked for a pint of what they were drinking. But it happened.

Dembele Griffiths

He’s right though. It’s not us. It’s him.

Like a few before him, he seized his opportunity and treated us to glorious days. His brace against Man City, the cool penalty against Astana and of course his record breaking display against Rangers. He wants bigger and better things. He is not the first to want it. He won’t be the last. Like Forster, Hooper and Van Dijk, the lure of the Premier League may prove too much.

Spending the entirety of your relationship planning your reaction to the break up sounds like the romantic equivalent to a kick in the balls. However, it kind of feels like that’s what I have been doing since around September. I’m getting my emotions ready for when Moussa is wearing another jersey in two years time, scoring in the Champions League, playing in the World Cup, telling anyone who’ll listen that it was me he was with before.

That it was me, and 60,000 others before me who sang his name.

That it was in our green and white hooped jersey he blossomed, bringing attention from wealthier suitors, offering more than we ever could, financially at least.

This asks the question, is it better to have loved and lost, or never to have loved at all?

Looking across the past 20 odd years as a Celtic fan, the players I’ve loved I have lost. Di Canio, Forster, Wanyama, Hooper. Even when I started to take to Kelvin Wilson off he went too.

I found a pair of trainers I hadn’t worn in over a year. I put them on as I had nothing else and as I was about to get comfortable in them, almost disgusted with myself for not putting them on sooner, they burst. I would call those trainers Virgil van Dijk. After finally admitting my love for him, he left. I actually spent longer getting over it than I did being happy with him.

Dembele Astana

This season has been sensational. Results have been great, form unparalleled in the league and goals aplenty. To the fore of that has been the form of Moussa Dembele. I don’t love him. How can I? He’s not for this writer. He’ll be the toast of the town in a few years, the Prince of Paris, a Manchester Magician, a Gallic Galactico.

I’ll be at home watching. Bitter, jealous, angry.



Lover of all things Celtic since 1985. Favourite Celtic player is Paolo DiCanio. Spent most of 2016 getting over a Ronny Deila-shaped broken heart that is slowly recovering. From Donegal but residing in Kildare and working in Dublin, still maintain that the greatest Celtic away day was Inter Milan away in the Europa League. Ronan can be found on twitter under @Kearney1085

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