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Barcelona will be better off without Dembele

No individual bigger than the club

Arsenal v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

It was Jessie J that sang “it’s all about the money, money, money” and the catchy chorus perfectly encompasses Ousmane Dembele’s modus operandi.

Why else would a move to Paris Saint-Germain, a club seemingly riddled with internal, and sometimes external, problems appeal to the 26-year-old?

Xavi has every right to be disappointed with a player that he went out on a limb for when a sale would’ve been so much easier for the club.

Dembele has form of course.

Who can forget the way in which he went on strike at Dortmund to push through the move to Barca. The motivating factor at that time - money.

Arsenal v FC Barcelona - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/ISI Photos/Getty Images

I’d rather not dwell too much on Dembele’s reasons for wanting to go though. I’d prefer to look at how much better off the squad will be with him gone.

The cost saving on his wages alone - £230,769 p/w according to Capology - will allow some movement in the transfer market and in positions where Barca have to strengthen. Adding Joao Cancelo to the ranks for example would be a godsend.

Looking at the team dynamic, his loss opens up a space on the team for a player to really cement their place in Xavi’s starting XIs.

Let’s be clear too. On his day, Ousmane Dembele was a cracking player. A genuine game changer.

Think about it though... in how many matches was he the main threat where he did untold damage to opponents?

Sure, he was lightning fast and entirely unpredictable which made him a huge asset for the Blaugranes and a nightmare for his direct opponent.

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images

But here’s the rub. How often did he use that God given talent to its fullest effect?

How many times would he run down blind alleys, beat his man once, twice, thrice and still end up losing the ball or seeing a great chance drift away?

The picture above from the recent El Clasico friendly is a perfect example of Dembele missing a chance when it was easier to score. Clean through and with only Courtois to beat, he still hit the keeper rather than the net. That’s Ousmane Dembele in a nutshell.

For all of the times that he had us off our seats, there are at least double or treble that when he’s been a total let down.

That lack of end product is what has and will stop him becoming truly world class.

Forty goals and 43 assists in all competitions over five whole seasons, per transfermarkt, is a reasonable return but just isn’t good enough at this level - particularly given the chances created and shots taken.

And don’t get me started on his constant injuries, in the early days particularly.

There were good times don’t get me wrong, but I’ll hang my hat on the fact that with Ferran, Ansu or Abde getting more minutes now alongside Raphinha, and with Lamine Yamal waiting in the wings, Barca will be much the better for it.

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