MOUSSA DEMBELE is not in the least bit surprised by his dream start to life as a Celtic player.

The last-minute penalty which won a European tie, the hat-trick against Rangers, a performance for the ages and two goals against Manchester, being named Player of the Month, scoring brilliantly for his country’s under-21 team last week; all of this was always in his plans.

This is a young man, he has only just turned 20, who wants to become the best player in the world, his words, and while any club with any football knowledge will surely be watching how the Frenchman gets on this season, he says that he wants to stay in Glasgow for some time yet.

The greatest ever transfer Celtic took part in was when they parted with only £650,000 to buy Henrik Larsson. Dembele has a bit to go before emulating the Swede; however, the £500,000 he cost to bring him north from Fulham in the summer is already looking like theft rather than a bargain.

“I know when I’m 100 per cent ready that I can produce some good stuff. That’s what I’ve done so far,” said the soft spoken but clearly intelligent Dembele when asked if he’d dared believe things would have gone so well so quickly.

“To be fair, when I first came in the lads were playing well so that made it easier for me to settle in and get to where I am today. You can always do better, so I won’t say you have seen me at my best yet. I am still young and still have things to learn. So you can only say that there is more to come.”

This should excite Celtic supporters who didn’t take long to come to the conclusion they might have a star on their hands. Dembele certainly thinks so, and there’s nothing wrong with confidence as long as backs it up, and also believes he’s at the right place to improve as a player.

“What do I want to achieve? To be one of the best or the best striker in the world. That is my main target,” said Dembele. “Before that happens, I have a lot of things to do and I need to train very hard.

“It’s good to know that (clubs have been watching him). But as long as they know I’m a Celtic player, I’m focused on Celtic – I don’t listen too much to what anyone is saying about me. My job is to get Celtic the best results possible and score as many goals as possible.

“Celtic is the best club for me. Not just for a few years. For a few years and more. That’s why I came here. I didn’t come here to stay just for a few years. I came here for the long term.”

And even if, say, Bayern Munich came in for the striker, they are not going to get him on the cheap. Celtic don’t have to sell anyone and while everyone has a price, it was Brendan Rodgers himself who claimed £15m would buy Dembele’s big toe.

And at the same time the Celtic manager compared his young charge to Didier Drogba, who did become one of the world’s best strikers and a player Rodgers worked with at Chelsea.

“It is great to be compared to that kind of player,” said Celtic’s man of the moment. “But I want to make my own name. Hopefully with the goals I have scored and the goals I will score, I will do that.

“Of course, I looked up to Drogba when I was younger. He was one of the greatest strikers in the world. He could score from anywhere, inside or outside the box. For me, he was one the best strikers there has ever been in the Premier League.”

And what has Dembele made of the Scottish Premiership, a league he admits himself does not enjoy the best reputation in England.

“I have been shocked with what I have seen already,” he said. “When you are in England, you don’t really watch the league up here. You just hear people saying that there is no quality in this league. But I have been shocked since I came here, because I have seen teams who are trying to play good football.

“So I think other people need to watch this league more closely to understand the quality there is here. When I was in England, I only really watched games involving Celtic. I didn’t really watch the other teams.”

You know a player has made it at any club when the supporters have a song for them, an honour which has been bestowed on this new man. The Celtic fans have taken to this kid in football terms and it’s why his name is chanted at every match.

“That feels good, to know you have the support of 60,000 fans,” said Dembele. “It’s unbelievable.

“To come to a massive club like this and have those fans singing my name, it’s really something for a young player like me. It would be something for any player, whatever their age or experience. I enjoy it a lot and I try to give them back what I can.”

He has done a pretty good job of that so far.