The last decade for Celtic has been a triumphant one. The Bhoys ultimately won nine Scottish Premiership titles in a row, but they have now reached their peak.
The Hoops lost their crown this season and now they are in the hunt for a new manager. One of the names linked with the job this week was Lucien Favre.
He is reportedly interested in taking over at Parkhead and judging by his record at Borussia Dortmund, the Swiss would be an eye-catching appointment.
Favre won 61.82% of his matches, developing some of the hottest young talents on the continent during that time. He brought Erling Haaland to Dortmund while he was also the man to develop the likes of Jude Bellingham, Gio Reyna and Jadon Sancho.
Sancho is perhaps Favre’s biggest success story to date with the Englishman becoming one of the most feared and sought-after wingers in European football.
The 21-year-old has been linked with mega-money moves to the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea and it’s easy to see why. He is a dazzling ball of energy, a player who not only scores bucket loads of goals but can create in equal measure.
No manager has taken charge of Sancho more than Favre; leading him over a period of 102 matches. During that time, the English winger scored 36 goals and registered 46 assists. His market value has sky-rocketed to £90m and it will take a rich club to prise him away from the Bundesliga.
Once Favre finds a new job, he will be keen to uncover a similar sort of project. At Celtic, that could fall in the direction of Karamoko Dembele.
The 18-year-old made his Hoops debut aged just 16 but since making his breakthrough, he has made just four further outings.
He struggled to make the grade under Neil Lennon and thus, could leave the club in the summer. The teenager is out of contract at the end of the season and it looks unlikely he’ll pen new terms.
However, that could change if Favre becomes Celtic boss. If he takes inspiration from what the manager has achieved with Sancho and Bellingham, he could finally see Glasgow as the place to develop and learn his trade.
After all, the flying winger has similar traits to Sancho. Dembele is rapid and has the ability to beat his marker with trickery and quick feet.
He has long been the crown jewel of Celtic’s academy and deserves a chance to finally show what he can do.
Speaking about the youngster previously, Ruud Gullit only had praise for him: “I saw Dembele playing on YouTube. What a player. He is exceptionally good – and left-footed as well.”
Despite his minimal first-team action, those words from Gullit still ring true. For his age, he is way ahead of others coming through in the same group.
He is a dynamo, an attacking gem with the world at his feet, just like Sancho.
Dembele is yet to score a senior goal in competitive action but under the watchful eyes of Favre, his enormous potential could finally be extracted.
We’ve seen glimpses of it, particularly in pre-season last year. After scoring and picking up an assist in a 3-1 win over Hibernian, Lennon commented: “I was delighted with what I saw from. He scored and helped assist the second. He’s looking stronger as he goes along and the more he trains with the first team the better he will get.”
The fact that Celtic could lose him this summer is alarming. Dembele has the potential to be a key player at Parkhead; the Hoops must hope their new manager can convince him to stay.