Dembele was ruled out for six months in February with a hamstring tear in the latest of a series of setbacks for the Frenchman since arriving at Camp Nou.
Yet L’Equipe reckon Dembele has been doing his best to live like a model professional and is not to blame for his injury problems.
His personal chef, Anthony Audebaud, has insisted the forward is doing all the right things off the pitch:
“There are no longer any pre-cooked products or soft drinks, only fresh and healthy products, Ousmane is good at playing football and he thought that only that was enough, but he is growing and learning,” he said.
“Today, he eats sea bream, sea bass, chicken and many vegetables. It’s hard to see all this work and bad luck with injuries because they have never taken care of him so much. He is a very home-oriented and quiet lad; there are never parties at home. I imposed meal times because he asked me to and now everything is written down. He is very professional.”
The report also suggest Barca’s training is inadequate for Dembele’s needs, pointing out that in training 20% of his runs are sprints but that figure is more like 90% when it comes to matches.
Indeed the report reckons the pace of Barca’s training is aimed towards their veterans Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi and claim Frenkie de Jong has had to employ a personal trainer since arriving from Ajax.
Michel Tori, who worked with Dembele at Rennes offered his thoughts:
“Ousmane is not responsible for his situation. He is the victim of a precocious talent. At Rennes we had huge pressure on training and matches, only we didn’t kill him.
“If you see the photos, his bone development had not finished; he still had growing to do. There was a rush to make him play because he is a phenomenon and now he is paying for it.”
Dembele managed only nine appearances for Barca in 2019-20. He was on his way back from injury when he picked up his last problem which ended his season and forced him to undergo surgery