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5 players who could replace Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Athletic Club v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Gautham Unni
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Ousmane Dembele has had a torrid time at FC Barcelona. The Frenchman signed for the club in August of 2017 for a reported €145 million, becoming the joint-second most expensive player in history.

Dembele came to the club bearing great promise, having just won the Bundesliga's Rookie of the Year award.

Ousmane Dembele made his first appearance of the season this week after nearly five months out through injury.Barcelona just announced he's injured again. 😓 https://t.co/FPtCphlX5c

In the four years he has spent at the club, Ousmane Dembele's performances have been underwhelming. He has experienced a total of 13 injuries in four years, missing over 100 games in the process.

Dembele's injury record since joining Barcelona 🤕 https://t.co/WNgXzboXEw

When he has played, Dembele has managed just 31 goals from 129 appearances. Adding to this, the Frenchman's wages are on the higher side and are a liability for Barcelona in their current financial situation.

The Catalans are reportedly looking to get Dembele off their wage bill. Let's take a look at five players who could replace Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona.


#5. Antony dos Santos - Ajax

Ajax Amsterdam v RKC Waalwijk - Pre-Season Friendly
Ajax Amsterdam v RKC Waalwijk - Pre-Season Friendly

Antony is one of the best options to consider as a direct replacement for Ousmane Dembele. The 21-year-old has been making quite a name for himself in the Eredivisie. Antony is a right-winger by trade and started out with Sao Paulo in Brazil. He was signed by Ajax in 2020 and has made the most of this opportunity.

New year, same Antony 🔥 https://t.co/vcKo9JeFGa

In his two years with the club, Antony has already registered 19 goals and 15 assists. He also made his debut for the Brazilian national team last year and has gone on to make five international appearances.

Congratulations, @Antony00! ✨Our number 𝟭𝟭 is the @Eredivisie Talent of the Month December. 🥇

Antony would be a great option to replace Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona. As Antony is a young player, he certainly has a long way to go in his career and would greatly benefit from the mentorship of Xavi.


#4. Nicolas Pepe - Arsenal

Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Nicolas Pepe joined Arsenal in August of 2019 for a reported £72 million. The Ivorian arrived at the Emirates with expectations high as he became Arsenal's club-record signing at the time. In a way, Pepe and Dembele are victims of their own price tags, something they could never seem to live up to.

Pepe operates as a right-winger and displays excellent dribbling ability. His shooting is appreciable and he is also an excellent free-kick taker. Pepe's numbers are fairly decent as well. He has managed 26 goals and 20 assists in 100 appearances for the Gunners.

🗣️ "I still back myself in what I said last year, Nico is the most talented player at the club when he’s on it" Nicolas Pepe you are out of order. Two careers ended within 5 seconds! 😅🥶 sportbible.com/football/news-…

Pepe was originally meant to be a first-team player but has now found himself as a backup option owing to the emergence of English youngster Bukayo Saka. The Englishman is now the preferred option by coach Mikel Arteta, which has restricted Pepe's playing time.

Nicolas Pepe is making his mark at AFCON! ⚽️1 goal ✅1 MOTM performance ✅#Pepe #AFCON2021 #Arsenal https://t.co/3So1fIM93g

Pepe could be the answer to Barcelona's problems as he plays in the same position as Dembele and could provide a genuine attacking threat.


#3. Adama Traore - Wolves

Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Manchester City v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Adama Traore is one of the most feared wingers in the English Premier League. The Spaniard has been with Wolverhampton Wanderers since 2018. Lining up on the right flank, Traore is renowned for his electric pace and incredible physical strength.

38 - Adama Traoré has completed 38 dribbles in the Premier League this season for @Wolves (9.8 per 90 minutes), which is more than 10 Premier League sides have completed in total. Force. https://t.co/EpdOsbZQu6

Traore is often considered an orthodox winger. His style of play generally involves making runs on the wing and delivering crosses into the box. Although his crossing could improve, Traore is one of the best dribblers in the league.

Interest in Adama Traore isn't going away!Many clubs in for the Spanish winger 💪 https://t.co/J6cLxAYQeP

Traore's strength enables him to push defenders away while his speed ensures he always makes it to the ball first. He has been on the radar of several top clubs and could certainly benefit from a move back to his hometown of Barcelona.


#2. Pedro Neto - Wolves

Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League

Pedro Neto is one of the most sought-after youngsters in Portugal right now. Neto currently plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League. He has, in the past, represented Braga and Lazio. Neto is primarily a left-winger but has been used on the right flank and as a striker as well.

What an unreal solo goal 🤤Pedro Neto is going straight to the top 🙌 https://t.co/PmpIB3sRA8

The Portuguese youngster has developed into a key member of the current Wolves side. He made 31 appearances in the Premier League last season, scoring five goals and providing the same number of assists.

Neto's style of play is very direct. He is always looking to run at defenders and supply creative passes to his teammates. Neto is also an excellent crosser and has a very healthy average shot output per game.

Pedro Neto is a baller. That's it, that's the tweet. https://t.co/9WaGiENWAZ

Neto recently earned a call-up to the Portuguese national team in 2020 and has made three appearances for his country. He is definitely an option worth considering for Xavi and Barcelona.


#1. Raphinha - Leeds United

Leeds United v Watford - Premier League
Leeds United v Watford - Premier League

Raphinha has emerged as one of Leeds United's best players. The Brazilian signed from Rennes in 2020 and has quickly become a fan favorite. Primarily a right-winger, Raphinha is loved for his direct attacking approach and excellent output.

44% - Raphinha has scored 44% of Leeds United's Premier League goals this season (8/18); only Teemu Pukki for Norwich (63% - 5/8) has scored a higher ratio for a side in this season's competition. Talisman. https://t.co/wSasWa3TJj

Raphinha is also one of the best dribblers in the league. His progressive vision and ability to shoot from distance are traits that most managers love to see from players on the wings.

Raphinha has ranked 1st at Leeds in the PL this season for [2nd-highest player]:Progressive passes - 87 [60]Shots - 50 [31]Direct involvement rate - 43% (8⚽️ 1🅰️) [19%]Successful take-ons - 35 [19]Chances created - 29 [25]Goals - 8 [2]Where should his next move be? 🤔🇧🇷 https://t.co/mNw10F6mg7
🔥 Only Mohamed Salah (121) has recorded more shots and key passes combined than Raphinha (93) in the Premier League this season. Highly productive players https://t.co/kXJ0oSit1H

Raphinha has already registered eight goals and two assists from just 18 appearances this season. The likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have all shown interest in the player.

Raphinha will not come cheap but the quality he brings to any team is undeniable. He is definitely a player that could replace Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona.

Raphinha is doing everything to put Leeds on his back this season 😩 https://t.co/9AZUIDxlCr

Raphinha will come at a price but the quality he brings to any team is undeniable.

Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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