Still just 23, the Frenchman has already won a host of trophies, including the FIFA World Cup, two La Liga titles, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup and the German Cup.
But despite all these trophies, Ousmane Dembele’s career has been one of unfulfilled potential until now. He has so much talent, but he’s yet to really assert himself at Barcelona.
Two games into the current season, the winger is yet to feature under new Blaugrana manager Ronald Koeman. Instead, he’s being kept out of the team by the 17-year-old Ansu Fati.
In his press conference after Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Celta Vigo last week, the Dutch manager gave the clearest indication that Ousmane Dembele was not in his plans for the season.
Ousmane Dembele isn't part of Koeman's plans
Asked why the Frenchman was benched for the second successive match, Koeman didn’t mince his words when he said youngsters Francisco Trincao and Pedri offered more to the team than Ousmane Dembele:
"If I think about not choosing a player, you have to think about the game. We went ahead with the opening goal and we had players on the bench in Pedri and Trincão who can bring more than Dembele can, to be decisive, to make changes in that sense."
Despite investing so much into the winger, Barcelona are yet to get the best out of him. Although he bears enormous talent, Ousmane Dembele has often been blighted by niggling injuries, while also being previously criticised for his poor work ethic in training.
This is why reports of Manchester United’s interest in the former Dortmund winger don’t make too much sense.
The big question is, if Barcelona, after three good years, couldn’t get the best out of Ousmane Dembele, how can United in their current unstable state?
He may just end up being another big name who arrived at Old Trafford and failed to live up to the standards. Just like Angel di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and others.
Coupled with the fact that Ousmane Dembele rarely stays fit for the full season, it doesn’t make sense for United to sign a player with such a record.
Barcelona know very well that they are better served without the Frenchman, which is why the club is pushing to sell him on a permanent deal, rather than loan him out.
The Spanish giants are looking to cut their losses and it’s a bait United should not take, especially after the progress the club has made under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in clearing out some of the deadwood.Published 04 Oct 2020, 19:54 IST