After arriving at Camp Nou in 2017, perceivably as Neymar’s replacement, Ousmane Dembele has struggled to truly find his feet at the club. With his 135-million-euro transfer fee, it is a seemingly collective opinion that his impact on the pitch has been far from satisfactory. Henceforth, Barcelona are willing to let him go for a price between 50 to 60 million euros.
The key issues relating to the distress associated with his case have always been his injury concerns, which have kept him out of action for prolonged periods. With just 118 appearances across four seasons with the Blaugrana, he has missed out on a sizeable portion of the action in different competitions. For a player who earns 11 million per annum, his contribution in his side’s endeavours is disappointingly low.
Dembele was bought as Neymar’s replacement ( photo via Everything Barca)
Another setback apart from his fitness has been his style of play. In the 20-21 season under Ronald Koeman, owing to full fitness, Dembele eventually got the opportunity to showcase his endowment every week. To his demerit, Barca’s style of play was never suited for players like himself. The Frenchman would be an absolute delight for any counter-attacking side across Europe. With his attributes, which include blistering pace, sharp dribbles, quick strides, and ambipedal nature, he is bound to cause an upset whenever he gets that space behind a high line of defence.
Dembele has missed out several games through injuries (photo via FC Barcelona Noticias)
However, with the way Barca operate, they require players to be adept in terms of spatial awareness. Having no judgement of the useful passing options when stuck in tight spaces is a drawback the Catalans can’t afford to sustain. Wingers who have a tunnel vision when they run with ball were never treasured at the club. Players like Greizmann, Fati, and Pedri have proved to be much better in these scenarios, and therefore have a much better future at Barcelona. Also, with players like Sergio Aguero arriving at the club, the options in attack are only set to increase; this would effectively tank his probability to get starts more often.
At 24 years of age, Dembele still has a considerable number of seasons ahead of him. With his undeniable abilities and potential, he can have a brilliant career at a club that suits his style of play.