It is just three weeks left before the contract between FC Barcelona and Ousmane Dembélé expires after five years of relationship. This way, the Frenchman could be living his last days as a Barça player and he has been silent publicly for too long, just like his agent.
It has been too long since that release that Ousmane posted in January on his social media after his controversial “non exit” of the club in the winter transfer market. A non exit that, on the other hand, turned out with the him staying but not playing a single minute for several games (until Xavi realized that he really needs a player like him in his team).
Against all odds and after having several top performances ((Naples, Athletic, Osasuna…), Dembélé changed critics from his own crowd for applauses, as he left the bench permanently to become one of the key pieces in the last part of the season.
Today it is almost impossible to find a player with such qualities as Dembélé. Verticality, dribbling, speed and, overall, being able to use properly both legs are some of the abilities that made Xavi to have to count on the Frenchman constantly.
For the first time in five years (even though it is true that we could already predict it with Koeman), we saw a way more matured Dembélé on the field by not being anymore that player who would take the ball in the midfield and just try to dribble any defender without any tactical rigor.
We have witnessed a true evolution in his playing style, specially on decision making, which was the main reason that he used to be criticized for.
As a prove for that, he has given 13 assists in total this season in 20 games of LaLiga (11 since February). A stat that has made him to be the top assistant of the competition ahead of other strikers such as Karim Benzema o Vinicius Jr.
Games like the Bernabéu’s against Real Madrid, Osasuna, Athletic Club or Celta de Vigo, where Dembéle gave two assists each, have put him in the top spot of assistants in LaLiga Santander.
As opposed, from the scoring point of view, we have seen once again a very poor Dembélé. Two goals in the entire season and an endless list of actions where he has not been effective at all when attempting to score.
Ousmane has never been a great scorer. However, last season he finished with 11 goals under Koeman as his coach and he got 14 during the 2018/2019 campaign.
That is why one of the best adjectives to describe the Frenchman is irregularity. And that is the reason why still today he has too many haters from his own crowd.
FC Barcelona have tried to extend his contract several times throughout this season. Their offer has always been low from the financial point of view, as a consequence of the delicate economic of the club currently. The agent of the Frenchman, Mousa Sissoko, has rejected them all.
He thinks that the conditions that are being offered to his client are not enough and he is waiting for another European club to improve them. However, from the pure football perspective, I highly doubt that Ousmane can find a better ecosystem that can help him to stand out as much as Barcelona’s, where he is mean to lead the next project along with an amazing group of young players.
Ousmane is still a footballer project, as he has not finished exploding all his abilities and he can’t either demand Barça everything he wants after being injured for the most time of his stay at the club.
He knows perfectly that Xavi counts on him and he wants him to be important in the team, but it seems like the player has left the enitre negotiation up to his agent and, unless there is an unexpected turn of 180º, the future of Dembélé is away from Barcelona.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: Twitter @FCBarcelona.