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‘Was stuck to the touchline’ – Dembele on differences in his game at Barcelona and PSG

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona’s activity in the summer transfer window last year was rather limited due to economic constraints. Despite this, several players left the club, either on loan or through permanent transfers.

One significant departure was Ousmane Dembele. Ideally, Barcelona would have preferred to retain the Frenchman, especially given former manager Xavi Hernandez’s consistent faith in him.

Even so, when PSG expressed interest, Dembele was eager to seize the opportunity and move on.

Dembele reflects on the change in demands

Now, a full year has passed since Dembele donned the Parisian jersey. Reflecting on his journey, he compares the contrasting demands of Xavi and Luis Enrique.

“Luis Enrique gives me more freedom than I had at Barça, he lets me play anywhere. As a ’10’, as a false ‘9’… I’ve had more freedom in the second half of the season,” he said, as quoted by SPORT.

Dembele argues that under Luis Enrique, he is free to occupy many zones on the pitch, as opposed to his time at Barcelona, saying: “The coach has told me to move a bit everywhere except when I have to keep my position on the wing.”

“At Barcelona, I was stuck to the touchline,” he added.

Dembele left Barça for PSG last year. (Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images)

Given that Xavi favoured overloading one side of the pitch before switching the play to Dembele, who was utilized as an isolated winger, he is justified in arguing he had minimal freedom.

After all, he was mostly entrusted to take defenders on out wide, with limited liberty to drift inward.

While the 27-year-old’s output has not been exceptionally high at PSG, he was one of their most important offensive players last season, usually found at the heart of plays.

In fact, he even made Barcelona pay in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, as he scored twice over the two legs and caused many problems for the Catalans defence.

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