If there’s one Barcelona player that really splits opinion amongst the cule fan base, it’s Ousmane Dembele.
The Frenchman’s talent isn’t in doubt, but the problem is that Barca fans just haven’t seen enough of it.
Certainly nowhere close to the player that they thought they were buying from Borussia Dortmund.
His injuries have curtailed what promised to be a great Barca career, because when he’s been on his game, he’s absolutely deserved his place alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
⚠️ MEDICAL UPDATE | @Dembouz undergoes successful hamstring surgery; French striker to be out 6 months— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 11, 2020
That lightning-quick pace from a standing start and the ability to play equally as well with both feet is unsettling for defenders and one of the best weapons that Barca have in their attacking armoury.
However, given the spend and the amount of games played, the club surely have to sit down over these next six months and decide whether Dembele is a player worth persisting with.
Playing wise, there’s no question marks that he should retain his spot, but if Neymar is available and the club can recoup most of what they paid for Dembele and Coutinho, there’s a cogent argument as to that move being more sensible.
Notwithstanding Neymar’s own penchant for injuries at certain times of the year of course.
Ousmane Dembélé's goals & assists across all club competitions:— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 11, 2020
Left foot: Right foot:
• 20 goals • 20 goals
• 20 assists • 18 assists
We have to wait *another* six months for him to restore balance. pic.twitter.com/vf8GVfM5wj
Some time ago in this column, I slated Dembele for what I perceived to be a lack of professionalism on his part, and a lack of respect towards the club.
His late-night gaming habits were well reported but, to his credit, the youngster knuckled down and took the advice of his contemporaries.
How unfair then, that just when we expect to see the best of the Frenchman, his injury curse strikes again and again.
Even if he comes back in pre-season ‘as good as new,’ the punishment his body has already been put through means that there will always be a weakness in the hamstrings particularly.
Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele could reportedly miss the rest of the season after tearing his hamstring on his comeback from injury pic.twitter.com/f1mvQWWFos— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 4, 2020
For a player who relies so much on his speed to get past players, it’s highly likely that he’ll suffer a recurrence again in the future.
Can Barca as a club really justify still having him on the payroll if they’re going to get maybe 10-15 good games out of him before he’s out for an extended period again?
Perhaps the transfer market will dictate Barca’s next move. Clearly they need to bring money in and will therefore let certain players go.
If they can accrue enough without having to let Dembele leave, then in my opinion he’s probably worth one more chance.
Should the same happen again in the early part of next season, however, then they have to cut their losses.