Ousmane Dembélé has undoubtedly been the star of Barcelona’s preseason so far. Since signing a new two-year deal to return to the club the Frenchman has been on top of his game, scoring four goals in four games during the United States tour and doing it all with a big smile on his face.
And according to a report from Mundo Deportivo, Dembélé has not only been a great player on the pitch but he’s starting to become a dressing room favorite with a completely new attitude since his return. The article talks of a “New Dembélé”, full of confidence, smiles, jokes and a very positive presence around his teammates.
Dembélé was known throughout his tenure at Camp Nou as a quiet player who was mostly on his own and lacking confidence thanks in large part to all the injuries he dealt with over the last five years. The report cites a source in the dressing room that claims Ousmane was a “phenom in training”, but for whatever reason he couldn’t transfer that brilliance to the pitch.
Things slowly started to change once Xavi Hernández took over as manager, putting his arm around the Frenchman and showing his complete confidence even during an ugly contract extension saga. The arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, one of Dembélé’s best friends, also helped him come into his own, and with time he became a lot more talkative and started playing well consistently.
Dembélé now has a new deal, feels supported by the club, his coaches and teammates and is starting to play at a really, really high level. As long as he stays healthy, the “New Dembélé” could be one of the keys to a very successful Barcelona season.