It’s been quite the turnaround for Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona.
From total outcast to one of the most important players in the side, and whose connnection with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is flourishing at present.
Ousmane Dembélé has provided 14 career assists for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, more than any other teammate in his career.— Squawka (@Squawka) March 20, 2022
That's why he wanted to sit next to him. pic.twitter.com/Rv0phbYUln
The cynic in me would normally suggest that these are no more than shop window performances from a player who is only bothering so he can show potential employers his best side.
However, that would be doing the French World Cup winner a huge disservice.
That he’s already relegated Adama Traore to the subs bench says much as to whom Xavi prefers in the wide role.
As frustrating as he can be, there’s no doubting that Dembele is world class on his day.
That’s not a description you’d associate with Adama, who has struggled to consistently impress after an encouraging start.
I’m ready for the ‘give the man a chance’ comments, but if Adama was effectively brought in as a replacement for the Frenchman, he has to be playing at his initial level every week. The drop off in form already has been remarkable.
Perhaps not quite as remarkable as Dembele’s renaissance.
Ousmane Dembele since Xavi was appointed:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) March 21, 2022
⏱ 1144 minutes played
44 successful dribbles
37 chances created
11 goal involvements
️ 9 assists
⚽️ 2 goals scored
A goal contribution every 104 minutes, form is temporary... ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/MspCDzpM4J
If the club and his representatives can come to a sensible agreement over salary, he would arguably be Barca’s signing of the summer.
Injuries permitting, the sparkling form he finds himself in at present could well help propel the Blaugranes to glory. Glory he will have played the fullest part in achieving.
It may well be that Dembele sees his future elsewhere of course. Should that situation come to pass, Joan Laporta could find himself with a problem.
Adama doesn’t appear to be the answer, and certainly not at the price quoted. If his deal can be renegotiated as a worst case, one can only hope that he gets his act together.
Culers, including myself, should at the very least be putting their faith in Xavi.
The confidence with which the team are playing at present are as a direct result of his coaching and management style.
If Dembele does decide to depart, and the only option available to the club is to persist with Adama then, despite any misgivings, we have to believe that Xavi will get the best out of him as he has with the team as a whole.
For now, the thought of keeping Dembele is no longer leaving a sour taste in my mouth.
Long may his current form continue.