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Why Ousmane Dembele should take his time returning for Barcelona

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Barcelona v Celta Vigo - Copa Del Rey Photo by fotopress/Getty Images

Just when it looked as though Ousmane Dembélé was ready to showcase his astounding skill set to the world, it happened again.

The curse of Anoeta may well be lifted for Barcelona but there’s little doubt that Dembélé isn’t too fond of the place after injuring his hamstring just four games back from a four-month hiatus.

Injury notwithstanding, there were glimpses of prowess against Real Sociedad for the young Frenchman. One run late in the game displaying the silky touch and speed that made him such an attractive proposition in the first place but once again his body failed him.

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

A great deal of hope was pinned to the youthful chest of Dembélé when he first signed for the Blaugrana. The French winger was labelled the heir apparent to Neymar; a saviour for a team that many said was on its last legs but five months on from the historic signing, he’s yet to show his worth.

Injuries are a tough pill to swallow for fans but in the case of Dembélé, the current state of play for the high-flying Catalan club means there’s little to be gained by rushing him back despite the hefty price tag that came with his arrival to the Camp Nou.

Instead, the current circumstances call for a more patient approach to his return.

The addition of Philippe Coutinho gives the club an attacking option on the wing and with Ernesto Valverde showing his tactical nous by implementing a successful 4-4-2 formation, there’s no immediate need for Dembélé in the squad.

2018 FC Barcelona Open Training Session Jan 5th Photo by Pedro Salado/Action Plus via Getty Images

The prognosis for this latest injury to Dembélé is unquestionably of a much more positive nature with the club making a statement that he is likely to be out for three to four weeks.

Whilst there’s an argument to be made that Dembélé’s astronomical transfer figure means his inclusion to the squad as soon as possible is of paramount importance, the need for the 20-year-old to fully recover and work on his strength and conditioning is likely to be the smarter recourse.

Patience will indeed be virtuous for Barcelona should they decide to give the young star in the making some extra time before reintegrating him into the team.