Far from the answer to Manchester United or Liverpool’s box-to-box midfielder needs, the new Moussa Dembele (this one has an extra s) has earned comparisons to Didier Drogba as the Tottenham midfielder’s namesake runs amok for Fulham’s youth sides.
Currently 18th in the Premier League, Martin Jol’s side are 19/50 to avoid relegation.
Dembele has notched five times in four games for the Cottagers’ Under-21s this term.
Having joined Fulham in the summer of 2012, when Dembele the elder was still at the club, the French version has been making a name for himself in age-group company this season.
His performance in the recent clash with Manchester United’s youngsters went some way to overshadowing an appearance from the rehabilitating Darren Fletcher.
The youngster capped an impressive showing by getting on the scoresheet in front of a select audience including Red Devils assistant manager Steve Round, coaches Nicky Butt and Phil Neville and former playing hero David Beckham.
The 17-year-old is already on professional deal in West London that runs until 2016.
Any hopes that Liverpool and United may have had of tempting the former PSG youth to the north west for nothing will come to nought as Dembele signed his first professional contract with Fulham last summer.
Initially running until summer 2015, his employers have wasted no time in activating an extension clause to add an extra year to the agreement.
The Cottagers paid £284,000 to land the Frenchman, the maximum possible under FIFA rules governing an academy player, and it’s unlikely that potential big club magpies could avoid stumping up a sizeable fee for his services.
Fulham have already turned down loan offers for his services from Championship clubs.
Given the Cottagers’ Premier League travails this season it’s perhaps unsurprising that they haven’t allowed their starlet out on loan and it’s far from unreasonable to expect he may see first-team action at some point.
Dimitar Berbatov, Darren Bent and Hugo Rodallega are the three senior professionals that bar his way to that goal, but all lack the youngster’s lightning pace and he could easily be called upon by Martin Jol.
Such a prospect may make it difficult for United to convince him to swap West London for Old Trafford given the Red Devils’ could form a gospel choir out of the strikers struggling for first-team places already within their ranks.