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Ronald Koeman hoping Dembele stays at Barcelona

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The Frenchman scored a vital winner on Monday night

FC Barcelona v Real Valladolid CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman says he hopes Ousmane Dembele stays at the Camp Nou after seeing the Frenchman score a crucial late winner against Real Valladolid on Monday night in La Liga.

Dembele pounced from close range in the 90th minute to net the only goal of the game against Real Valladolid and maintain Barca’s title push.

Koeman spoke after the game about how important the 23-year-old is to the team and how he hopes he will extend his stay at the Camp Nou. Dembele’s current deal is due to expire in 2022.

“Of course he is an important player, he has shown today with his game and especially with his goal. Ousmane’s career this season is very good, physically he has improved a lot, it is the key to his consistency. If it’s up to me, of course, I’d like him to stay with us.”

The Barca boss also spoke about the game itself and felt his players lacked freshness after the international break.

“It was a very difficult game, the team was far from the level it had shown lately. We have to admit that Valladolid played a great game. In the end I think we deserved to win.

“The team is capable of winning the matches. It has also shown today that you have to be at your level, be effective, have freshness ... Freshness was lacking, it may be because of the national team stoppage.”

Barca now turn their thoughts to Saturday’s Clasico against Real Madrid in what is another crucial fixture in the race for the Liga title.