Barcelona legend Xavi has been talking about Ousmane Dembele and specifically what the young Frenchman needs to do to become a hit at his new club.
It’s been a tough start to life at Barca for Dembele who has struggled with injury but he’s started to show in recent weeks what he’s all about.
Dembele opened his goalscoring account in some style with a brilliant goal against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League and followed that up with another assist against Athletic Bilbao at the weekend.
Here’s what Xavi reckons Dembele needs to do if he is to successfully adjust to life at the Camp Nou.
“He will need some time. Barca is like a final exam for a footballer. It is like Dembele is passing a Master’s degree right now because not everyone can play for this club.
“Why? Because you have to know things three times more than elsewhere. Barca play on barely 30 metres of the pitch.
“Dembele has a lot of talent, he is very fast, but here, he is not going to have the space he had at Dortmund or Rennes. He had more space, so more time there.
“He will have to learn to think faster, in a few thousandths of a second. This is where we will see if he has the mentality.
“He must say to himself: ‘l am a Barca player’. You have to be mentally strong, to have conviction.
“There are average players who spent 15 years at Barca, because they had character. And there are some excellent players who did not do anything because they couldn’t handle pressure.
“In training, when you saw them, you would say to yourself: ‘They will break everything. They’re going to be legends’. But no. As soon as they entered the pitch, their legs started shaking, they did not want the ball anymore. And you would wonder: ‘Holy f***, what’s happening to them?’”
Source | So Foot (via Goal)
Dembele is now off on international duty with France who face international friendles with Colombia (where he should come up against Yerry Mina) and World Cup hosts Russia.