Hardly any player at FC Barcelona has benefited as much from the new coach Xavi as Ousmane Dembélé. The Barca legend wants a contract extension for the former Dortmund player.
The statistics of the last few weeks? They are outstanding.
Ousmane Dembélé was extremely successful in six league games for FC Barcelona, scoring one goal and setting up eight (!) goals. He also decided the Clasico, setting up the first two goals in the 4-0 win in Madrid.
It has obviously clicked with the Frenchman, who now also appears at the ground on training-free days and works extra shifts. “He is a very good player who the others can take as an example. I don’t know how Dembélé was before, but he is very happy with us and motivated,” praised his coach Xavi.
After playing below his level for years, Dembélé now seems to be in the form of his life.
Xavi: “I hope Dembélé stays”.
Dembélé will also be in the spotlight in the Europa League quarter-final at Eintracht Frankfurt. From the Catalans’ point of view, the strong form comes at the right time on the one hand and at the wrong time on the other.
Right, because the final spurt of the season is on the agenda and Barcelona still has big goals: Winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League. Wrong, because the contract is expiring and Dembélé can suddenly set the pace in the poker game. Xavi is desperate to keep the 24-year-old, who arrived from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for 140 million euros.
The coach also indirectly confirmed the meeting between the latter’s adviser and sporting director Mateu Alemany.
“I have said many times that the club is working on the contract extension. Dembélé is very important for us in our system of play. I hope he stays with us,” Xavi stressed. Dembélé is a “difference player” with a lot of potential: “He can be the best player in the world in his position. There are only a few players with his qualities.”
Torres and Rode rave about Dembélé
His teammates are also enthusiastic about the Frenchman’s development. Ferran Torres himself has already received a Dembélé pass. He praised his colleague: “I would take him away. For me, Ousmane is one of the best players in the world.” On whether he should sign? “The final decision is up to him.”
The upcoming opponent also has great respect for Dembélé. Sebastian Rode, who celebrated the DFB Cup victory with him at Borussia Dortmund in 2017, said in an interview: “I think Dembélé is one of the most talented footballers ever.”
The winger, who himself doesn’t really know which foot is his stronger, is currently exploiting his existing qualities on a regular basis.
It is possible that Xavi was the career key that Dembélé needed. Because in his current form, there is no way around him. Xavi, at any rate, will use every opportunity to emphasise this.