Sunday, October 2, 2022

Barcelona Ace Eyeing A Future Move To Juventus: Should The Catalans Retain Him For The Long-Run?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Catalunya Radio has stated that Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is eyeing a future move to Juventus which also explains why he declined a chance to join Manchester United on loan earlier this month. It is understood that the Catalans wide player is hoping to make a switch to Italy either next summer or when his contract at the Nou Camp runs out in June 2022 (via Catalunya Radio).

Dembele’s Recent Troubles With Injuries At Barcelona

The 23-year-old has experienced an injury-ravaged spell in Spain since he arrived from Borussia Dortmund back in 2017. Dembele only made nine appearances for his current employers in the previous campaign, netting one goal in the process. He missed a significant chunk of last season because of multiple injuries, so maybe a fresh start in Italian football could do his confidence a world of good in the future.

The Vernon-born wing wizard did well to find some consistency in terms of his overall contributions in the opposition half as he averaged 1.0 shots, 1.6 key passes and 2.8 dribbles per game in the 2019-20 La Liga campaign. Dembele even spread the ball relatively well from the wide areas after he made 78% of his attempted passes in the Spanish first division (stats via whoscored).

At 23, the French speedster is about to enter his prime, so its high time for him to start proving his worth regularly at the highest level if he wants to stay relevant in European football.

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele eyeing a future move to Juventus (Dembele is seen in the picture)
Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona in action during the Liga match between CD Leganes and FC Barcelona at Estadio Municipal de Butarque on November 23, 2019, in Leganes, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

What Are The French International’s Strengths And Weaknesses?

Dembele is one of the fastest players in Europe and can complete some penetrative dribbles out on the flanks. He is a composed runner with the ball and can even deliver some promising crosses into the opposition penalty area. The Frenchman can also be a decent finisher in front of goal but needs to show a clean bill of health this season if he intends to reignite his old form from his Dortmund days in the years to come.

Should Ronald Koeman Retain Dembele’s Services For The Long-Run?

Dembele is currently fighting with Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann and Francisco Trincão for a place on the wings in Ronald Koeman’s starting XI. He could be in for a make or break season at the Nou Camp as Barca are likely to cash in on him next summer or else risk losing him for free in the year after.

His blistering pace and goal-threat make him a decent squad player at Koeman’s disposal but only time will tell whether he can overcome his recent injury concerns and become a class act on the flanks in the coming seasons. Maybe, Dembele should consider hitting the gym and developing his upper-body strength which could help him become a more accomplished winger in the future.

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