Man Utd & Liverpool target would be wrong to join West Ham – pundit

Date published: Thursday 12th January 2017 8:50

Moussa Dembele: Valued at more than £20m

Moussa Dembele: Could he be a surprise mover?

Charlie Nicholas has told Celtic striker Moussa Dembele that a move to West Ham would be the wrong choice at this stage in his career.

The Frenchman has caught Slaven Bilic’s attention after a stunning six-month spell in Glasgow.

An anonymous columnist writing for the Hammers’ official website last week hinted they had lodged a £20million bid for the Hoops’ 19-goal frontman.

But former Parkhead favourite Nicholas believes Dembele will be making a major error if he swaps the east end of Glasgow for the east end of London.

Nicholas took a similar road south when he joined Arsenal in 1983, but admits he should have chosen his destination more carefully.

Urging Dembele not to make the mistake he did, the Sky Sports pundit said: “I’d just say if Moussa does go, make sure it’s the right club. I can speak with experience on this. I had a lot of clubs after me as a young lad.

“I should have gone to Liverpool. I’d never say a bad word about Arsenal, but those are the choices we make. You get some right, you get some wrong.

“Are West Ham the wrong club at this time? Absolutely.

“It is a team surrounded by mayhem at home. They have got a new stadium, but fight and argue and scrap with each other.

“If Dembele is looking at them, then who is his partner going to be? Who is his supplier going to be?

“There is no rhythm to that team. Dimitri Payet, their best player, has just confirmed he doesn’t want to be there.

“Slaven Bilic is different class and would be really good for Dembele, but the timing is all wrong. West Ham are all wrong at this moment in time.

“Would he rather join a scrap or have a great experience going for a treble. I’d know which I’d rather if I had his choice.”

Celtic will find it difficult to resist with the riches available south of the border and Nicholas says it is inevitable they will have to sell Dembele eventually.

The former Fulham striker’s impressive haul includes five strikes in just three games against Rangers as well as three goals in the Champions League group stage.

And Nicholas – who netted 28 goals in his first season with the Hoops before switching to Highbury two years later – believes Dembele has shown already he has the potential to go all the way to the top.

But he cautioned the France Under-21 star against quitting Brendan Rodgers’ rampant Ladbrokes Premierhship leaders too soon.

“Moussa would have got a big chunk of money when he moved up from Fulham in the summer,” said the 55-year-old former Scotland international. “But the big salaries on offer now will still be there in a year’s time. He’s just turned 20.

“When I was 21, Celtic were selling me to get me out the door because they didn’t want to give me bigger wages than anybody else.

“Now with Brendan in charge, they can say, ‘Why would you want to rush?’

“Who is going to come in for Dembele at the moment that will light his life up? Will he get a game at Arsenal? I’d say not. At any of the top clubs? Not yet.

“But in a year’s time? There’s a strong possibility.

“The next five months could be bland for him because the title is just about wrapped up. He is a star in the making – but there’s no rush.”

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