Ronald Koeman, the new Barcelona coach, talked extensively about his players ahead of the clash against Sevilla in LaLiga. And as it seems, the Dutchman is going to be extremely transparent when addressing the media.
After two successful games against Villarreal and Celta Vigo respectively, the Catalans now face their biggest challenge yet in the form of the Andalusian titans. However, with the team training and playing well, Koeman is happy.
“I think we are doing very well and everyone is noticing it. So far, we have been confident in ourselves. We want intensity in training. You play the way you train. I don’t go out on the pitch to rest.”
“We have lot of good players, a lot of quality. We must play as a team, we must press and read what the other team is trying to do.”
Of course, he had to address his latest signing, Sergiño Dest, as well. He’s not yet eligible to play, as it seems. There is still, however, enough time and we may very well see the American on the pitch quite soon.
“We are waiting for his file to be registered so that we can call him up tomorrow. Paperwork is ongoing, we’ll see if it gets done in time.”
There was also a lot of talk about Ousmane Dembélé and his future lately. The Frenchman could be close to an exit but Koeman has confirmed the two have not really discussed it thoroughly.
“Dembélé is a Barça player and his future is clearly up to him. We haven’t talked to him directly about his future. There is a lot of competition in the team. Ansu Fati is playing ahead of Dembélé. If there is a player who doesn’t want to be here, he should tell me and he [Dembélé] hasn’t told me anything. To this day I count on Dembélé and he will have chances to play.”
One other player whose transfer has been heavily discussed is Eric García. The former La Masia student and current Manchester City player is someone the club rates highly.
“It’s true that we want him and I don’t want to comment further because I have read what Pep said. The economic situation of the club isn’t great. I don’t know if we will succeed in bringing Eric.”
The new coach has also shortly discussed Philippe Coutinho and Lionel Messi and commended both for their work so far.
“[Coutinho] is a quality player and has improved a lot during his stint at Bayern. My job as a coach is to get the most out of each player and that starts with playing them in the right position.”
“From day one Leo has trained and played well. He has given his all for the club and his teammates. The other day against Celta, he led the team as the captain and he has always been the best in the world.”
Koeman certainly discussed a lot of things ahead of the Sevilla clash and his transparency will surely be a breath of fresh air to some. But he’ll have to do the talking on the pitch as well otherwise it won’t matter much.
Injury Update: Dembele has been suffering from pubalgia
According to an exclusive report from SPORT, Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has been struggling with pubalgia throughout recent weeks. The Frenchman has been carrying on playing through discomfort for many of the last few games according to the Spanish outlet.
Dembele has become a key part of Ronald Koeman’s side this season. After an injury-laden spell in his first few years at Barcelona, he has finally begun hitting his stride. The winger has been slowly but surely showing glimpses of his immense talent. However, it looks like things are not as smooth-sailing as they seem.
The current condition of his pubalgia, an injury which is causing discomfort to the pubis, has been hampering Ousmane Dembele especially during the latter stages of matches. The condition has been worsened due to his time on international duty with France as well.
The Frenchman is reportedly undergoing conservative treatment plan at the moment designed by Barcelona’s medical team and physios. The pain is not severe enough to rule him out of action, but it does not seem to be diminishing.
The report highlights that any drastic measures such as potential surgery are currently ruled out, which is good news for both, the club and the player. However, the lack of improvement has caused concern within the Barcelona camp.
Pubalgia is best treated by rest, but that is a luxury that Barcelona cannot seem to afford. The 23-year old wants to keep contributing to the team as the domestic season is now at a critical juncture. He has finally begun feeling like a valued member of the squad and does not want to rest and miss out on the action as far as possible. He also wants to be sharp enough for the upcoming UEFA Euros in the summer.
The World Cup winner must, however, be rational with his body. He has struggled massively with injuries in the past. Any aggravations to injuries now could be very damaging in the long-term.