In August 2017, Barcelona splurged round $148 million to signal Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund. Having offered Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for a world-record $243.4 million, the Blaugrana had been flush with money on the time and weren’t afraid to experiment.
The France worldwide wasted no time exhibiting his potential, however his lackluster angle commonly received in the way in which. He was usually criticized for having little self-discipline, for not giving his physique sufficient respect, and for his poor work ethic. Lack of care and poor luck finally mixed, turning Dembele into an injury-prone sportsman.
In his debut season, he featured in solely 23 video games for Barcelona in all competitions, scoring 4 instances and claiming eight assists. At full flight, he was near unstoppable, however his flights got here few and much between. Issues did change for the higher within the 2018-19 season, with him scoring 14 instances and offering eight assists for Barcelona in 42 video games that time period. However the 2019-20 season threw a spanner within the works.
Muscular and hamstring accidents prompted him to overlook nearly all of the video games that season, with him solely showing in 9 video games in all competitions, scoring as soon as.
Xavi’s appointment in 2021 labored in Dembele’s favor, because the Spaniard seemingly discovered a method to make full use of the Frenchman’s breakneck tempo and spectacular distribution. Beneath Xavi, Dembele performed 66 video games throughout the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, scoring 10 instances and offering 22 assists.
Xavi harm by Ousmane Dembele’s choice to go away Barcelona
Simply as issues had began to show, rumors linked the 26-year-old with a transfer to PSG. Following Barcelona’s 1-0 win over AC Milan in Tuesday’s (August 1) pre-season pleasant, a dissatisfied Xavi confirmed the hypothesis, stating that Dembele wished to affix the Parisians.
Talking to the press, Xavi stated (through BBC Sport):
“I will probably be very clear. He has been very direct, that he has a proposal from Paris St-Germain, that they’ve referred to as him from there and right here we can not do something. That’s the reason he has not performed as we speak.
“It hurts me as a result of I feel we’ve taken nice care of him right here so that he’s completely satisfied and content material and continues to make a distinction for us.”
In line with switch guru Fabrizio Romano, PSG have activated a non-public clause to signal Dembele, which might see the participant transfer to the Parc des Princes for a $54.9 million charge this summer time. It’s anticipated that the deal could be finalized by the tip of the week.
Dembélé readability ⚠️🇫🇷
PSG have NOT activated La Liga €50m exit clause for Ousmane — expired and now legitimate for €100m.
By sending formal letter to Barça, PSG activated a ‘personal’ clause.
It makes Dembélé obtainable for similar quantity, €50m.
Deal to be sealed by finish of the week. pic.twitter.com/fHSMrrT1Es
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 1, 2023
Six years after Dembele’s ill-fated switch from Borussia Dortmund, it’s protected to say that the gamble has not paid off for Barcelona. The Frenchman has solely scored 40 instances in 185 appearances in all competitions, failing to justify his astronomical price ticket.
PSG boss Luis Enrique will look to construct on Xavi’s work and attempt to get the very best out of the 26-year-old. It will likely be attention-grabbing to see if he manages to lastly unlock the winger’s simple potential.