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Ousmane Dembélé: Waiting the time for his birthday wish to be fulfilled

Javier Giorgetti



Header Image by Toni Albir via Imago

Dembélé has had a series of obstacles since his arrival in Barcelona. He came as a teenager, but with every passing year fans have been losing the faith in him. However, this may change very soon, as Ousmane Dembélé looks forward to his recovery in his 23rd birthday.

Dembélé’s career at Barça has been repeatedly interrupted by injuries. When we believe that he will have a constant development, another injury appears. The truth is that we are still far from seeing the Frenchman shine, as he has not even exhibited 50% of his potential. When he has had the opportunity to do so, he has proven to be a player that can be used to perfection in the club. He just needs to be trusted, and, although his situation is difficult, in football there have been enough cases to believe that Ousmane still has plenty of time. Today, on the birthday of Dembélé, let’s review his current situation.

What we know

Ousmane Dembélé has played 74 games for Barcelona in which he has scored 19 goals and 17 assists. These numbers are not bad, but could be even better. On the other hand, he has missed around 63 matches thanks to the 9 injuries he has suffered wearing the azulrgrana shirt. His latest injury was in February, after suffering a ruptured tendon in his proximal hamstring in his right thigh in a workout while recovering from a previous injury.

Before his last injury, Dembélé was progressing effectively. He had gained a lot of muscle and was doing everything possible to return to the pitch. Also, he had had a totally positive attitude to recovering from his fitness problems. Unfortunately, another injury appeared. And while it seems hard to have faith in him again, we may still have to resist a little more.

Ousmane Dembélé Barcelona birthday

No one said the path to success would be easy, and injuries have shown Dembélé the bitter side of football | Photo by Imago

Now that football has been halted due to the COVID–19, Dembélé has had time to rest and be away from the suffocating pressure at the club. He has been recovering and is undergoing the necessary rehabilitation process to return safely to the field. Future tests, though, are still required to fully know the status of his injury.

What is expected for the upcoming months

No football, no pressure, something that will help him in his recovery. However, Ousmane Dembélé turns 23 today on his birthday. He is no longer a teenager, and has the right age to prove what he is capable of. Once football resumes, the Frenchman will be closer to being healthy. While he won’t be able to take part in La Liga, he may be fit when the Champions League returns in August. That’s when Ousmane will have to start displaying all his best qualities again.

A footballer with incredible abilities. Speed, explosiveness, unpredictability, dribbling…When he plays, the speed of Barcelona’s game changes. He literally adds dynamite to the attack. He still has room for a lot of improvement, but we must be calm because Dembouz already has all these characteristics and conditions. They only need to be polished to make them more effective. Ousmane will achieve it with consistency, once injuries leave him alone, and only then will he have the chance to perfect himself.

Nonetheless, there are several other options as well, such as selling him in the transfer market, but it is somewhat improbable because the board wants to recover the money they paid for Dembélé in 2017. The problem is that his value has dropped by more than 50% in the past year. That said, another alternative is for him to stay and progress more and more. He still needs to work thoroughly with Quique Setién, who has stated on more than one occasion that he is excited to help the youngster’s progress. Setién trusting his talent is the first step to being able to get the best version out of Ousmane.

❛ Dembele will be an important player; he is extraordinary. The problem is that he has had bad luck which has resulted in a lack of playing time. We count on him ❜

Quique Setién

Of course, it’s no wonder why so many people have already lost hope in Dembélé. But, if there’s someone that hasn’t, those seem to be Setién and Ousmane himself. The player is giving his best, and now it’s the fans who must leave the past behind and allow a new beginning for him. If something has characterised culés, that is never abandoning their team. In spite of his continuous setbacks, the former Dortmund man is remaining persistent. And that must be valued.

Finally, as long as he remains a Barcelona player and keeps trying hard, faith must be had in him. Hopefully Dembélé blows out the candle on a birthday cake, and his desire to succeed at Barcelona is fulfilled. He’s already 23 years old, and the time for him should have arrived.

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The love I feel for this club is as great as the desire to share my admiration for it. Being a fan of Barcelona since when I was 8 years old and growing up watching games week after week. It makes no sense to feel so much love for this club. Being able to transmit all that love with more lovers of this sport is priceless.



Why Erling Braut Håland should be Barcelona’s future number 9




Header Image by Christof Koepsel / Bongarts via Getty Images

While he would be an unconventional player at the club, why should Barcelona target Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Braut Håland after the departure of Luis Suárez?

A 19-year-old Erling Braut Håland took the footballing world by storm last year when he scored a hat-trick of goals on his Champions League debut and then went on to become only the second teenager to score in each of his first three appearances in the competition.

In the winter transfer window, Håland moved from Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg to German side Borussia Dortmund in hopes of both improving his game and leading Lucien Favre’s side to the Bundesliga title. The Norwegian wonderkid ended the Bundesliga season with 13 goals and 3 assists in 15 games, and Dortmund finished second on the table.

Håland’s 44-goal season put him on the radar of all the top clubs in the world, and while the striker is at the top of his game at Dortmund, his departure to a top European club in the future is inevitable at some point. Following club legend Luis Suárez‘s departure from Barcelona, the Catalan club is surely looking for El Pistolero‘s heir. With Barcelona looking for a top striker for the future, and the Norwegian machine looking at a European giant to move to, Håland might just be the name that reads on Barcelona’s number 9 shirt.

The transfer market is unpredictable, and Håland’s agent being notorious superagent – and supervillain – Mino Raiola, makes things even more complicated. Instead of looking at if Barcelona will seek Håland’s services, this article will look at why Barcelona should seek Håland’s services.

To begin with, let’s talk about Håland’s statistics. In the 2019/20 season, he scored 44 and assisted 10 goals. 10 of the goals were in the Champions League. He scored more goals than expected with his G90, 1.10, being higher than his xG90, 0.75. It has been established that Håland is a goalscoring machine. The Norwegian’s physique is absolutely astounding. At 6 feet 4 inches (1.94 metres), Håland provides quite the aerial threat, something the blaugrana club severely lacks.

In spite of his towering height, Håland is incredibly fast; he reached a top speed of 36 km/h and was 0.3 seconds off from breaking the world record for a 60-metre sprint. Football has evolved in recent years, with training facilities improving and more money being invested in fitness training, players have become more athletic. A striker who will face off against athletic defenders definitely needs to be a physical demon.

Erling Braut Håland Barcelona

When at RB Salzburg, Barcelona rejected to sign Erling Braut Håland because he did not have the suited profile | Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos via Getty Images

Does Håland have the technical ability of a prime Luis Suárez or of a Samuel Eto’o? No. Would he be heavily involved in the build-up play like some of Barcelona’s preceding number 9s? No. If Håland was to join, he would be the most uncreative player in the squad, and believe it or not, that is exactly what Barcelona needs right now.

The recurring humiliations in the Champions League knockout stages have had one thing in common – apart from the poor defence –: the lack of a runner. Every elite team in Europe has elite runners: PSG have Kylian Mbappé, Liverpool have Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mané, Bayern have Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry.

The Barcelona team, all these years, has been stacked with players who love having the ball at their feet all the time – Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho, Antoine Griezmann…The reason Messi’s last few years have been wasted is that he hasn’t been provided with a runner to get at the end of his through balls. This problem cannot occur again.

Barcelona’s future lies with talented playmakers like Francisco Trincão, Pedri, Riqui Puig, etc, and these playmakers need a proficient and clinical striker with good off the ball movement, to score goals for the team. Håland doesn’t only have a good physique, he is also an intelligent footballer. He knows how to time runs, how to hold the defence, and is a lethal shooter of the ball.

Erling Braut Håland would be quite an unorthodox signing for Barcelona. Quite unlike all of his predecessors. But if the club’s transfer policy fails to evolve while the game itself is evolving, then the Catalan club is going to become a relic of the past. A player like Lionel Messi is never going to appear again. Thus, after his departure, if Barcelona want to dominate in Europe like they once did, the team is going to have to function like a system, and Erling Håland is the piece that fits the puzzle the best.

So apart from everything discussed in this article, why should Erling Håland join Barcelona? Well, in his own words: why not?

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