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Barcelona coach defends Ousmane Dembélé

Alexandre Patanian

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Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Ronald Koeman, when asked about Ousmane Dembélé, has defended his French winger after the Getafe loss. Indeed, the Dutchman took off the Frenchman after Jaume Mata had scored the penalty.

Dembélé lost the ball many times in the game, especially in the first half, but picked it up a bit after the half-hour mark. After 325 days, Dembélé started his first game for Barça since that injury he suffered against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League. After a frail start, the Frenchman looked more and more confident before getting subbed off.

Ronald Koeman defended his player by saying that this was his style of play and that he’s working really well towards getting more consistent. The former Everton and Southampton coach also praised the winger’s performance in the second half, admitting he played better and acknowledging his hard work. Koeman isn’t one to lie about his impressions on a player as he criticised his team’s performance by accusing them of not getting the ball to Leo Messi as much as they should.

“He’s training and doing well. He did lose possession a lot against Getafe, but it’s the way he plays. He played better in the second half, and he’s working hard to get minutes.”

Ronald Koeman on Ousmane Dembélé in the pre-match press conference

Perhaps this means Dembélé, while not being particularly impressive on Saturday, has a future under Koeman and he might start ahead of the out-of-form Antoine Griezmann on the right. Hopefully, the former Dortmund winger will start against Ferencvaros in the Champions League, a perhaps easier opponent than Getafe away.

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.

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Barcelona are in contract renewal talks with Ousmane Dembélé

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto andreaxstaccioli

Nowadays, footballers’ fortune can change in a flash. Just weeks ago, Ousmane Dembélé practically had one foot out of Barcelona but now, the media are convinced the very opposite to be true.

According to a new report from ESPN and their sources, the Catalans are already in contract renewals with the French winger and are also confident about reaching a deal. Just a reminder that the player’s current contract is set to expire in 2022 so next year was essentially the last year Barcelona could hope to make some money from a potential sale.

And a sale was very much on their minds until recently. The same source states, however, that Manchester United have not yet given up on Dembélé and are still monitoring the situation.

Barcelona are also aware of their intentions but are not overly worried since the negotiations with the Frenchman are going quite well so far. Recently, Ronald Koeman has been giving the youngster a lot more game time, which has come as a result of his hard work and dedication.

Of course, whenever he’s actually been on the pitch, Dembélé has been heavily influential, just as was the case in Barcelona’s mid-week Champions League clash against Ferencváros. But there’s one more motif for them to extend the player’s contract, as ESPN note.

By giving him a new deal, the Catalans are ensuring his market value doesn’t drop. As we already know, next summer he will move into the final year of his contract and with that in mind, he may very well walk away for free.

Needless to say, that would be an incredible deficit for the club since they’ve splashed around €105M for him back in 2017. But of course, with Dembélé finally starting to prove the doubters wrong, Barcelona see him as a great asset for the future.

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