Celtic striker Moussa Dembele cemented his reputation as one of European football's most sought-after players tonight when he banged in a sensational hat-trick for France's Under-21 side.

The 21-year-old has been on the brink of a call-up to the France senior squad recently and was included in the provisional squad for the friendlies against Wales and Germany, but the Hoops forward was eventually dropped back down to the Under-21's.

And their manager is probably very thankful he was.

Dembele was handed a starting berth for tonight's European Championships qualifier away to Slovenia, and it looked like Les Bleus might be in trouble when they fell behind on 21 minutes.

But Dembele hit back by scoring in the 34th, 41st and 45th minute to give his side an astonishing half-time lead.

His first was a penalty and the third goal was definitely the pick of the bunch. What a finish!

Credit: Canal+Sport

Celtic striker Dembele capped off an impressive 2016 by winning the French Under-21 Player of the Year.

The 20-year-old moved to Celtic Park from Fulham last summer after scoring 18 goals in the English Championship last season, and has cemented his place as one of the continent's most exciting young talents whilst in Glasgow.

Dembele came out on top in a prestigious poll organised by TV channel TF1 in France.

Image: PA

According to reports in the summer, AC Milan were in talks with Celtic for their very talented striker.

He may have only moved to the SPFL last summer from Fulham, but scored 17 goals in 20 league starts as the Hoops went the entire domestic season unbeaten.

Will performances like this make it harder for Celtic to keep hold of Dembele in January?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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