As reported by Daily Mail, Ousmane Dembele’s agent Moussa Sissoko has opened up on Ousmane Dembele’s future at Barcelona. He has claimed that the Frenchman will “remain in Spain 1000%” amid speculations regarding Neymar’s potential return to Catalonia.
This could further complicate Barcelona’s pursuit of the PSG winger. But, it could also bring forth tactical shortcomings for manager Ernesto Valverde this season. So, how exactly does Dembele’s prolonged stay affect the Blaugrana?
Dembele “the scapegoat”
It is probably needless to say that Barcelona are in need of offloading a few of their star players to afford Neymar’s lucrative wages. They have already gotten rid of Philippe Coutinho, who has joined Bayern Munich on a season-long loan deal with an option to buy.
Dembele, in that regard, was another candidate to leave the club, following a disappointing two-year spell in Spain. The Frenchman’s departure would have helped Barcelona cut down a chunk of their wage budget, allowing them to fund not only Neymar’s wages but also his hefty price-tag.
Most importantly, they could have used him as a sweetener to sign the Brazilian international. But, with the ex-Dortmund star seemingly unwilling to move to PSG, it could potentially jeopardise Barcelona’s pursuit of their prodigal son.
Coutinho’s departure from Barcelona has created a vacancy in Barcelona’s attacking unit, which Dembele is likely to fulfil, especially with Malcom moving to Russia. But, in the event on Neymar’s potential return to Catalonia, it could inevitably conflict with Dembele’s preferred left-wing role.
Besides, it could also take a massive toll on Antoine Griezmann’s overall chances. Unless, of course, the Frenchman is utilised in a more central role – as an alternative and potentially a replacement for the ageing Luis Suarez.
But either way, the Spanish giants could potentially have no less than four options in the wide attacking department, which is surplus to what they require. And this will likely phase at least one of those wingers out from the first-team, with the player most likely being Dembele.
Should Barcelona offload Dembele?
It doesn’t look like Dembele is the perfect fit for Barcelona, despite his unmatched potential. The 22-year-old has clearly struggled to live up to his €125 million price-tag. And given his injury-prone nature, it would perhaps be wiser for the Blaugrana to force him to make a move away from Camp Nou.
As mentioned earlier, his departure would free up space as well as budget, making it easier for the Spanish giants to bring back Neymar, who has already proved himself at Barcelona and should help them challenge for the Champions League this season.
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