Ousmane Dembele’s stint at Barca has now crossed three years this month. During this period, he remained out of action for about one and a half years.
To sum up, putting aside his occasional brilliance and the unfortunate circumstances, his period at Barca has been nothing short of horrid considering the transfer fee, his potential, and the hype and excitement that came along with his arrival.
Yet, a large part of the core Barcelona team, management committee, and the fans all over the world have not given up on him. So, now is his final chance to repay the faith while showing the determination to carry the team forward, with Leo Messi’s possible departure looming round the corner.
Barcelona now has a new manager in Ronald Koeman and it’s a glorious opportunity for Dembele to cash on this fresh start and convert his times at Barca from inconsistent moments of brilliance to consistent sets of legacy.
The manager is known for his strict man management and falling out of favour will definitely mean the end of the road for the young Frenchman.
How Ousmane Dembele can be adjusted?
We haven’t seen much of Koeman yet, but as he prefers to go 4-2-3-1, there are several ways Ousmane Dembele can feature. If he decides to put Messi right behind Griezmann for most of the matches, Ousmane Dembele can play on his favoured right-wing role.
But thanks to the incredible ambidexterity of Ousmane Dembele, he can easily play on the left too giving Messi his right flank.
Ousmane Dembele is a very versatile player who can play in any part of the pitch. Though, the final option is very much in front of the fans. With Antoine Griezmann not able to adapt to the number 9 role, Koeman can make an adjustment by shifting Ansu Fati in front of Messi as a number 9 and Ousmane Dembele on the left.
This way, Dembele can start the game from the wide left and once he receives the ball in the final third of the pitch, he can cut inside on his right foot and either score a goal or provide dangerous passes to his teammates. This can also help Alba to cover up space by taking Dembele’s initial position and provide as an extra threat.
Unfortunately, if the same story of constant injuries or poor discipline continues this season, it will be better for Barca to part ways with Ousmane Dembele. The reason being a plethora of signs showing that this is never going to work.
The irony here is, he barely missed any matches with Rennes and Dortmund but the moment he put his foot on Catalonia, his body suddenly became brittle in an unbelievable way. So, this better be Dembele redemption season; else it’s not worth wasting time for both the parties.
This transfer window, Manchester United were keen on signing Dembele but with Barcelona insisted on signing him up only on a permanent transfer, the deal got collapsed.
This is a boon for Dembele since he can now prove his worth to the gaffer by being more discipline and show more enthusiasm in training and working hard on his fitness levels.
He has got pace, he has got awesome dribbling skills, can shoot with both feet and if he brushes up his inconsistent decision makings, sky really is the limit.
‘That goal’ versus Spurs in the Champions League is still fresh in our mind, right? It had each of his traits involved. That is the Ousmane Dembele everyone wishes to see every week. And this is a make or break season for him.
Visca el Barca.