In the space of a few months, Ousmane Dembélé went from undesirable number one to decisive player in Xavi’s system. After having concluded the last exercise in La Liga as the best passer (13 assists), the French international ended the pre-season as the best scorer (5 goals in 5 games) of the Blaugranas.
An old adage often comes up in the world of football: “everything goes very quickly in football”. An expression sewn with white thread, used excessively by lovers of the language of wood, it nevertheless corresponds very well to the situation experienced by Ousmane Dembélé in the space of a few months.
“He must leave immediately”, the big pressure from his leaders in January
Back at the end of January. A few days before the end of the winter transfer window, Barça’s technical director Mateu Alemany made a resounding statement :
“It seems obvious to us that the player does not want to continue at Barcelona and get involved in Barça’s future project. these conditions, we told him and his agents that he must leave immediately”.
The Frenchman’s lack of extension with the Catalan club irritates the Blaugrana staff to the highest degree, which even indicates that the 25-year-old “will no longer be called up” until his future is settled. The divorce then seems very close.
But the former Rennais can then count on strong support: that of his coach, Xavi . Behind the scenes, the Spaniard affirms his leadership over his group and discusses with the tricolor winger. Remaining at Barça at the end of the winter transfer window despite the enormous pressure put on him by his leaders to make him change his tune, Ousmane Dembélé is gradually finding playing time.
Best passer in La Liga, contract extension … Dembélé silences the critics
Entered during the match during the derby against Espanyol (2-2) on February 13, he later became a regular starter and multiplied the offerings until completing the season crowned with the title of best passer in La Liga (13 assists). Therefore, the situation is no longer the same. Having become a key element in sporting terms, the extension of the Frenchman’s contract is not faced with the same sharp speech as in January. But the discussions are nonetheless long and complex.
An agreement was finally reached on July 14 with Barça for a lease extension until 2024. Dembélé would have agreed to lower his fixed salary by 40%, an effort confirmed by Catalan President Joan Laporta.
“Staying has always been my first choice,”The winger recalled.
As the Blaugranas prepare to resume La Liga this Saturday at Camp Nou against Rayo Vallecano (9 p.m.), the undesirable has once again become a first-choice attacking talisman for his club. During the pre-season, he multiplied good performances and goals (five goals in five games), making him Barça’s best summer scorer. Not bothered by the arrival of the Brazilian Raphinha in his right lane, Dembélé seems ready to burn for his sixth season in Catalonia.
“He’s a different player, a special player ,”
“In the way we play, he brings us a lot and must continue to make the difference.”Explained his coach after his double against Juventus in a friendly on July 27.
Again a scorer on Sunday evening during Barça’s card against the Pumas during the Joan Gamper trophy (6-0), the French international (27 caps) made a date. A rebirth which could bring him to Qatar in 100 days with the Blues, when he has not played a single minute with the France team since June 19, 2021.
Source: RMC Sport