Why Man City should sign Ousmane Dembele to replace Leroy Sane
According to claims from Spanish outlet El Desmarque, as relayed by the Daily Star, Man City have been linked with a sensational swoop for Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele, who is on the verge of an exit from Camp Nou.
Having established himself as one of the most sought-after young talents in Europe at Borussia Dortmund, Dembele arrived at Barcelona in the summer of 2017 for £135.5m, but injuries coupled with a lack of regular playtime haven’t really allowed him to live up to his potential in Spain.
The 22-year-old, who won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with France last summer, is keen to secure an exit from Barcelona in January in a bid to resurrect his career, and Pep Guardiola is willing to offer him an escape route. (El Desmarque h/t Daily Star)
The arrival of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid and the emergence of teenage prodigy Ansu Fati have eaten into his game time and the Catalan giants are expected to entertain offers of around £86million for the French international during the mid-season trading period. (El Desmarque h/t Daily Star)
Dembele accumulated 8 goals and 5 assists in 29 La Liga appearances last term, 20 of which came as starts, but the talented winger has been restricted to only a couple of league starts this season, with manager Ernesto Valverde constantly overlooking him since his return from injury.
The 21-cap Frenchman still has a contract at Barcelona until the summer of 2022.
To put things into perspective, Man City’s links with Ousmane Dembele should come as a piece of welcome news to the fans on the blue half of Manchester, with the Citizens yet to sort out the future of star winger Leroy Sane, who is out of contract in 2021.
Sane, who boasts of eye-watering returns of 39 goals and 45 assists in 134 appearances for the Cityzens across all competitions, has been instrumental in City’s last two Premier Leauge triumphs.
However, with the German international stalling over a new deal and his rising stocks attracting interest from Bayern Munich (h/t Metro), Guardiola could be forced to dip into the market for a replacement.
The former Schalke man has missed the opening quarter of the ongoing campaign with a long-term injury and while that could potentially rule out a January transfer, Man City would be wise to open the door for an exit next summer in a bid to make a profit from his sale.
That, in turn, would make it a lot easier for the Citizens to stump up the cash required to complete a swoop for Ousmane Dembele, who looks like a tailor-made replacement for Leroy Sane, who is stalling on signing a new contract (h/t Sun).
In fact, the Frenchman’s ambidextrous nature coupled with the versatility to play out wide on either flank could possibly make him a more useful asset as compared to Sane, who is largely restricted to playing down the left-hand side of the pitch.
Dembele might have struggled to live up to the hype at Barcelona but he continues to be an incredible talent and Pep Guardiola, who is a genius when it comes to extracting the best out of young players, has every reason to fancy his chances of transforming the Frenchman into a world-beater.
Raheem Sterling was young and raw when he came through the door at the Etihad from Liverpool and Guardiola has cast his spell to transform him into one of the most prolific wingers in the world.
With the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva and Sterling already at the club as accomplished wide players, Guardiola would be able to ease the 22-year-old into action, something which he has done so often over the years to make the process of acclimatisation a lot easier for the new signings.
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All in all, Man City completing a move for Ousmane Dembele could be the dawn of a new generation of stars at the Etihad and one that could possibly go a long way towards helping the Citizens preserve their status as the undisputed superpowers in English football for years to come.