Ousmane Dembélé Finding Form for Barcelona

Ousmane Dembélé
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Ousmane Dembélé and his career at Barcelona have been much like a roller-coaster with so many ups and downs throughout his formative years. However, his recent up-turn in form suggests we are beginning to see his promising talent finally fulfilled on the big stage.

Ousmane Dembélé Finding His Feet for Club and Country

The Journey of Ousmane Dembélé to Barcelona

In 2015, the winger started his professional career with Rennes in his native France. He previously spent five years at their youth academy and it was there where his precocious talent began to shine. During this time, the attacker would make 22 appearances for the reserve side, scoring 13 times.

His one and only season for Rennes in 2015/16 was a successful one. His 12 goals in 26 games, which included a first senior career hat-trick against Nantes, alerted top European clubs.

The Frenchman’s form took him to the Bundesliga and Borussia Dortmund. It was a big step in his career but one he took to like a duck to water. His seven goals in 32 games were rewarded by being included in the Bundesliga Team of the Year and named ‘Rookie of the Season’. But his stay in Germany would be a short one.

Barcelona Struggles for Ousmane Dembélé

In the summer of 2017, it was Barcelona who came calling and signed the young Frenchman. First France, then Germany and now onto Spanish shores in La Liga.

His eye-catching £123 million move to the Camp Nou raised eyebrows for such a high price tag. It coincided with Neymar’s record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, making him the second most expensive player with Paul Pogba. Sure, the talent was not to be in doubt for Ousmane Dembélé. But it represented a huge outlay for someone with little experience in top-level football.

His Barcelona career was curtailed from the start by a hamstring injury which left him on the sidelines for four months. This was the start of a terrible run of serious issues with his hamstring which would keep him out for large durations. His erratic form and loss of confidence due to those injuries left fans fearing the worst.

A Player Reborn

Yet, to his credit, he has bounced back from all his bad luck and being out of favour to fully showcase his talents. His fantastic solo goal against Tottenham Hotspur in late 2018 demonstrated the class and ability he has in his armoury.

Fast forward to this season and he has featured in Barcelona’s last 23 games, with 18 coming as a starter. He currently has nine goals in Barcelona colours. This included his Man of the Match performance against Real Sociedad before the international break. The striker, as he played in that game, scored a lovely precise goal beating two defenders and impressed throughout in a convincing 6-1 win.

The recent improvement of the player could be rewarded with a contract extention, according to Fernando Polo of Mundo Deportivo. His current deal runs out in 2022 and the club aims to tie up a deal to ensure he continues his development with confidence.

A Regular for the French National Side

The attacker’s good run of form has not gone unnoticed with his national side either. Manager Didier Deschamps firmly believes in his talents and is now a mainstay in the squad. He recently inspired France to victory 2-0 away in Kazakhstan in which he opened the scoring with a clinical and ruthless finish.

Since making his debut in 2016, he has featured in 23 games with three goals. It is amazing to think he already has five years experience for his national side since making his debut against Italy in September of that year, his most memorable experience being part of France’s World Cup victory in 2018. If he stays injury free, he could be one to watch in this summer’s European Championship.

Knowing Ousmane Dembélé

The 23-year-old is a maturing talent who, predominantly as a winger, can comfortably play on either side of the pitch due to his ability with both his left and right foot, as well as also featuring as a central striker in recent club games.

His attributes are his driving runs at pace and his speed to accelerate past opponents in a flash. He has improved his technical ability to keep the ball and use it more wisely. A case in point being he likes to perform some trickery during matches which, in the past, would be performed too often. This also relates to the decision making with his runs, which he has notably improved upon. His crossing ability has also got better in recent seasons making him a more well-rounded and balanced player nowadays.

The signs are positive that Dembélé’s early promise is transforming into consistant high level performances for club and country.

 

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