Ousmane Dembélé, finally ready to shine

Hampered by discipline concerns when he arrived in Barcelona in 2017 (for 125 million euros from Borussia Dortmund) then by repeated leg injuries, the 25-year-old French international has corrected his way of life and s ‘reinforced behind to leave those bad memories to him.

Put back on track by coach Ronald Koeman in 2021 after his heavy injury at the Euro against Hungary (disinsertion of the femoral biceps tendon in the right knee), Dembélé found the light with Xavi, a Barça technician for a year.

The latter even convinced him to stay, while negotiations around his contract extension seemed to be at a standstill, to the point that Barça even tried to push “Dembouz” towards the exit last January.

Xavi’s Trust

“I always told Xavi that I wanted to stay at the club. Afterwards, there were negotiations, it was contractual. […] But with Xavi’s confidence, I had to stay. I feel good in this locker room, with all these young people, the whole team. I have felt good there for six years, ”assured Dembélé on RMC Sport at the start of the last gathering of the Blues.

“It’s my dream to win the Champions League with Barcelona,” he added, as Barca regained first place in La Liga this weekend, a first for the Catalan club for two years.

Forgotten, the long negotiations for the extension of Dembélé’s contract. Exceeded, the decision of Xavi and president Joan Laporta to put him away from the group for a time because of the salary conditions demanded by his agents. Because Xavi very quickly reinstated him, flexible in front of the evidence of his talent. And in a soap opera summer punctuated by budgetary maneuvers and astronomical recruits from Barça, Ousmane Dembélé ended up signing again in Catalonia, until 2024.

Here he is essential in the Barcelona eleven, despite the reinforcements in attack who arrived in January (Aubameyang, Adama Traoré) or this summer (Raphinha, Lewandowski).

“I had it”

Xavi has started him eight times in Barca’s first nine games this season in all competitions. And the 2021-2022 La Liga top assist provider has already scored two goals and provided four assists this season. Having become the father of a little girl on the night of September 16 to 17, Dembélé still insisted on playing the La Liga match against Elche the next day (won 3-0). Another proof, if necessary, of his commitment to Xavi and his club.

Since the trip to Munich (2-0 defeat), some calf pain has prevented him from being at his maximum for the last La Liga matches and during the international window, where he only played eleven short minutes against to Austria. For him who wants to “be decisive, but above all effective in major Champions League matches”, this poster against Inter is timely, a few weeks before the World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18).

According to the Catalan press, the club is already looking to extend the contract of the former Rennais. His release clause is only 50 million euros, and Barça, despite their financial difficulties, would logically keep modifying the conditions of their engagement in order to secure the services of their winger for the next few seasons.

Leave a Comment