How Barcelona Can Cope Without Ousmane Dembele?
Barcelona’s record signing, Ousmane Dembele suffered a serious injury against Getafe this past weekend and could be out of the pitch for around four months. Dembele sustained a tendon rupture in Madrid and was flown to Finland on Monday. He is set to undergo an operation under specialist doctor Sakari Orava in Helsinki.
There are reports suggesting that the pitch in Coliseum Alfonso Perez contributed to this long-term injury. However, manager Ernesto Valverde in the recent presser played down that speculation.
Footage has also revealed that Dembele might have had problems in training before the match and may have had difficulties while warming up. Valverde commented that Dembele never suffered from a muscle injury in the past and maybe his inexperience there clouded his judgment while recognising the problem which could have been abated.
“Because he’s a fast player, it’s the movement he made which was the worst thing for the muscle. Maybe a more experienced player would have known not to make that movement”, Valverde said.
This was Dembele’s third appearance for the Catalan club after he was bought from Dortmund for a massive £135.5m transfer fee. Supporters of the club will miss him at least until next year. Ernesto Valverde, however, is not losing his sleep over the matter just yet. Barca, as a squad have the necessary replacements.
Gerard Deulofeu is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia youth academy and having plied his trade in England and Italy, the prodigal son has returned home this summer. Barcelona will be expecting a lot from Deulofeu this season and Dembele’s absence might just help him to step up his game.
The 23-year-old has the talent to replace Iniesta at the club and it’s a shame that Luis Enrique underused his talents last season. Having scored the equaliser against Getafe this weekend, and having got himself on the scoresheet in the 6-1 routing of Eibar, Denis would be high on morale and will be hoping to create a bigger impact with his performances in Dembele’s absence.
Primary a RW, Aleix was used as a RB in the past two seasons. Now, with the signing of Semedo, he has the liberty and options to go forward. It will be interesting to see if he can make an impression during the absence of Dembele on the right flank. He was tested in this position by Valverde, in the game vs Eibar and he didn’t disappoint, as he did assist one of Leo Messi’s goals. Maybe more of it to come?