This was Ousmane Dembélé’s chance to prove Ernesto Valverde was wrong to drop him. With Lionel Messi out with an arm injury, the Frenchman had a chance to show that he should be the starter for el clásico. In the early goings it seemed like he was intent on making the case. His dribbling in open space was typically brilliant. But as the game wore on, he actually lost his touch. He tended to make poor decisions or lose the ball too easily. One time, it even led to a Sevilla goal.
Dembélé was a starter earlier in the season and even scored a glut of crucial goals. But yesterday, he seemed lackadaisical at times, and even drew boos from the Camp Nou crowd.
With Messi out for the match against Real Madrid, Dembélé could be a starter in the big game. But given his poor showing, there’s a good chance Ernesto Valverde decides to drop him again, even with Messi out.
However, Dembélé could get one more shot to prove himself if he is selected against Inter Milan this week. If not, there are plenty of players such as Malcom, Rafinha, Sergi Roberto, or Arturo Vidal who are trying to break into the starting lineup. Dembélé needs to bring his A game in that match, as well as in training.