Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Barcelona Ace Inching Closer Towards Move To Manchester United: Is Koeman Making The Right Call?

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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, AS has stated that Barcelona wide player Ousmane Dembele is inching closer towards a move to Manchester United this summer. It is understood that the Catalans outfit are willing to accept an offer between €50m to €60m for the French wing wizard as they are looking to raise money to fund a move for Olympique Lyonnais’ Memphis Depay before the transfer deadline next month (via AS).

Dembele’s Growing Frustrations At Catalonia Last Season

Dembele endured another underwhelming campaign in Spain after he missed a lot of football because of a severe hamstring injury. He ended up making just nine appearances for the Catalan giants last season, netting one goal across various competitions.

However, the 23-year-old showed how productive he could be in the attacking third during his time on the field as he averaged 1.0 shots, 1.6 key passes and 2.8 dribbles per game in the 2019-20 La Liga campaign. Dembele distributed the ball relatively well as evident from his pass completion rate of 78% in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).

Despite his injury struggles, the Vernon-born speedster has done well to score 19 goals and provide 16 assists in 75 matches for Barca thus far. He can now benefit from making a fresh start away from the Nou Camp so that he can rediscover his old form and find some consistency at the top level.

Barcelona's Dembele inching closer towards a move to Man United (Dembele is seen in the photo)
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 Does The French Winger Bring To The Table?

Dembele has got the pace and the dribbling ability to cause all sorts of problems for his marker out on the flanks. He excels at running with the ball to get to the byline and is usually a composed finisher in the decisive end of the field. However, the Frenchman is quite injury-prone and has found it challenging to show a clean bill of health for a sustained period. Hence, it is no surprise that Barca are willing to cash in on him if they can bring in a suitable replacement in the form of Depay this summer.

Are Barca Making The Right Call By Cashing In On Dembele To Fund A Move For Depay?

If Ronald Koeman can recoup a fee close to the asking price, then he should consider shipping Dembele out to Old Trafford as it will allow Barca to get Lyon’s Depay on board ahead of next month’s transfer deadline.

The Ligue 1 star will be a far more reliable option than Dembele and could potentially strike up a fruitful attacking partnership with Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi in the coming seasons. However, Dembele has the ceiling to become a generational talent in the future. In the long-run, Barca could regret letting a player of his potential leave for a reduced fee rather than be patient with his progress and back him to succeed by keeping him at the Nou Camp beyond this summer.

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