Chris Sutton has said that Celtic must keep Moussa Dembele if they wish to beat Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League.
The Hoops have been drawn against the Russian giants in the last 32 of the Europa League with the first leg set to take place on the 15th of February.
Dembele who is regarded as one of the best up and coming strikers in Europe has been linked with a move away from Parkhead this month with a number of Premier League clubs reportedly interested in signing him.
Sutton has insisted that Celtic must do all they can to keep Dembele if they wish to do well in Europe.
In his column for the Daily Record, Sutton said: “Europe is an extremely big one and the way Celtic perform against the Russians will be an indicator for the fans going into next season’s Champions League. If they don’t produce a strong display, where they will hope to catch Zenit coming out of cold storage, then there will be huge question marks in terms of Europe yet again.
“Celtic haven’t performed at the standards they showed last season – the number of points they’ve dropped tells you that – and they most certainly need an injection. I don’t see Celtic strengthening massively but what they can’t do is weaken the squad and it’s more important they hold on to their best players. That’s why as one 21-year-old checked in yesterday in Morgan, it’s vital another doesn’t head in the opposite direction.
“People forget Moussa Dembele is only 21 and at that age you peak and trough. That’s why some of the criticism after his performance against Rangers in the last game has been OTT. There seems to be an element of the Celtic support saying the club should jump at £18m but it would leave a huge hole in the team if he left.
“If they lose Dembele then he would be virtually irreplaceable. A lot of people have questioned his form this season but he hasn’t had a fair run or crack of the whip and they are far stronger with him fighting it out with Griffiths.”