Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen may use the FA Cup to blood some of Fulham’s talented academy players and that might give fans a first proper look at starlet Moussa Dembele.
Meulensteen is committed to ensuring the progression of his best youngsters into the senior squad and Dembele is highly regarded by many at Craven Cottage.
The French forward, 17, made his Fulham debut as a late substitute at West Ham in November and has recently returned to full fitness after injuring his hamstring in that game.
Dembele, no relation to Tottenham’s former Fulham midfielder Mousa, was on the bench against West Ham on New Year’s Day and might get a chance to impress in the third round at Norwich tomorrow.
“He is a goalscorer, first and foremost,” said Meulensteen. “Moussa knows where the net is and he is clinical in and around the box.
“He has a variety of finishes and he is a good athlete as well. He is a strong player and has got a great personality.”
Dembele has been prolific at youth level and is reportedly attracting the interest of Manchester United and Liverpool.
Meulensteen said: “I am looking forward to integrating him more in first-team training.
“There are many other young players coming into the group. That is what I did during my time at Manchester United and I am going to do exactly the same here.”
On the club’s recent win against the Hammers, Meulensteen added: “The key for us was getting the points and moving out of the bottom three in the Premier League. It does not mean we have turned a corner but we are looking confident.”