The Dembélé Dilemma

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SEVILLA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 21: Ousmane Dembélé of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander match between Sevilla v FC Barcelona at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on December 21, 2021, in Sevilla Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Picture this scenario. Is 2017 and FC Barcelona is preparing for the 2017-2018 season with their new coach Ernesto Valverde. The team is coming from three good years led by the powerful trio of Leo Messi, Luis Suárez, and Neymar. But problems arise when the Brazilian winger decides to leave, and Paris Saint Germain pays his release clause of more than 200 million dollars. Barça now has to find a suitable replacement, and turns its eyes to Germany, more concretely to Borussia Dortmund and their incredible young talent Ousmane Dembélé.

A hundred and sixty million dollars, four years and countless injuries after that summer of 2017, Dembélé approaches the end of his contract in a clear war against the Catalan club. It has been reported that Barcelona has been trying to renew the French’s contract since last summer, but the winger and his agent had disregarded every offer laid out by the club. Apparently, Ousmane is asking for way more money than Barcelona is willing to pay him. But does he actually deserves it?  Does Barcelona actually need Dembélé for the project that Xavi is starting at the club?

Although they can be answered easily, those two questions have a lot of baggage behind them. Ousmane Dembélé is without a doubt a talented and skilled player, that can bring defenders to the ground with just a flair. But injuries and, let’s be fair, a clear lack of commitment, have shown that Dembélé might not be what Barcelona needs to start a great run once again. Yes, he is a different player, one that can actually change a game, but Ousmane’s time at Barcelona has been disappointing, never reaching the level of a player that cost more than 160 million dollars. You can call it pressure, or that he has been part of a team that has gone down in recent years, but Dembélé has never risen up to the expectations, and young academy players like Ansu Fati, Ez Abde, Ferran Jutglà, and new signing Ferran Torres can definitely fill the void that the Frenchman is going to leave behind.

So should Barcelona renew Ousmane Dembélé? I think that ship has sailed. I don’t believe that Ousmane is going to ever become a significant player for the Catalans, and I think is better for Xavi and the board of Barça to call it a loss and move on. But I do believe that he should keep playing until is time to go. In the last two games, Xavi has left him out of the squad as a clear message of he either renews or leaves. Even General Manager Mateu Alemany has come out to say that Dembélé should find a new club before the transfer market ends. But, with the situation that the club is in and with the need for victories to enter the next UEFA Champions League, I don’t think Barcelona can afford to lose an attacking player just to send a message. Use Dembélé, count your economic losses by the end of the season, and restart again without him in the squad. That is of course if there is not a suitable offer for him before January 31st. But let’s be honest, does any club really wants Ousmane Dembélé right now?

About Post Author

Jesus Carrillo-Alonzo

Published writer and animator, Jesus truly believes that he can deliver the next big story. Motivated and fluent in English and Spanish, his Venezuelan roots give him a new perspective and a fresh and original view of the film and animation industry and the stories hidden in them.
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  • Published writer and animator, Jesus truly believes that he can deliver the next big story. Motivated and fluent in English and Spanish, his Venezuelan roots give him a new perspective and a fresh and original view of the film and animation industry and the stories hidden in them.

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