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Dembele picks the perfect moment to give a timely reminder to Barcelona

Stunning cameo from the Frenchman

FC Barcelona v Athletic de Bilbao - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

A part of me remains incredibly frustrated with Ousmane Dembele.

Picture the scene four years ago when he signed for Barcelona. Imagine if he had regularly produced performances of the type that we saw from his cameo appearance against Athletic Club.

We would be talking about a world beater who needed to be kept by the Blaugranes at all costs.

Instead, whilst his injuries are just sheer bad luck, we’ve never really seen the best of the Frenchman other that in fits and starts.

Since Xavi has shown faith in him, he has repaid that trust handsomely, and his goal and two assists against a stubborn opponent turned the game on Sunday night.

He was, frankly, magnificent.

FC Barcelona v Athletic de Bilbao - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

If Barca could be assured of that Dembele week in and week out, then there isn’t even an argument that not only does he deserve a regular starting spot but, arguably, is worth the spend from the club’s perspective.

When he’s on his game, he is one of very few players in world football that gets bums off seats. A player that, when he has the ball and there’s plenty of space for him to run in, there’s an audible gasp from the stands.

Football supporters aren't stupid. They know the danger that Dembele possesses in those boots.

Pace, comfortable on both feet, can go inside or outside with ease and has an eye for goal. Xavi even has him tracking back in defence.

But there’s the frustrating part for me. Why is he only showing this face now? When he’s in the shop window. Where has this Dembele been for long periods of his contract?

FC Barcelona v Athletic de Bilbao - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

In many ways, these next few months will be something of a double-edged sword for both player and club.

If he can stay free of injury and help Barca to the Europa League title and/or a top three or four finish, there’s every reason to believe that the board may try again to have him sign on the dotted line.

For Dembele himself, he will see the potential that the squad now has and as one of the more senior members of the side, he’ll have the responsibility of shaping the club’s immediate future.

Of course, if it’s only about money, then he’ll likely move on to pastures new.

Should that happen, then the only shame will be that he was never truly able to show his absolute best for anything other than a brief time at the Camp Nou.