Friday, May 20, 2022

Barcelona Winger Is On Manchester City’s Radar: Should The Catalans Sanction His Exit?

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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, Catalan news outlet El Nacional revealed that Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is on Manchester City’s radar. It has been stated that the Mancunian giants are willing to offer Raheem Sterling in exchange for the Barca speedster’s services as Pep Guardiola is a big admirer of his talents.

Dembele’s Encouraging Campaign In Spanish Football Recently

Dembele had a fruitful season at the Nou Camp recently as he finally overcame his injury problems and played a prominent role in Ronald Koeman’s first XI. The French wing wizard participated in 44 matches for the Catalan club in the previous campaign, scoring 11 goals and securing five assists in all competitions.

The 24-year-old gave a good account of himself in the final third after he averaged 1.8 shots, 1.3 key passes and 2.1 dribbles per game in La Liga. He was even excellent when interchanging possession deep inside the opposition half, as evidenced by his pass completion rate of 85.8% in the top tier of Spanish football (stats via whoscored).

Barcelona (Ousmane Dembele)
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 08: Ousmane Dembele of France runs with the ball during the international friendly match between France and Bulgaria at Stade de France on June 08, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Should The Catalan Outfit Sanction Dembele’s Exit?

Dembele is blessed with electic pace that helps him complete some eye-catching dribbles with the ball in the opponent’s half. He can create some decent plays for others around him and can be a good finisher in front of the opposition goal when he is playing regularly for Barca on the field.

The Frenchman is highly versatile as he can play on either wing or operate as a centre-forward up top if needed. At 24, the best is yet to come from him as long as he can steer clear of injuries in the future.

However, frequent injuries have hampered Dembele’s career at Barcelona thus far. He is yet to make an appearance for the Catalan giants this season, so there are some concerns over whether replicate his form from last season if Man City end up securing his services this winter.

Hence, Barca should consider sending him to the Etihad Stadium in return for Sterling as the English winger will be far more reliable for them in the long run. With all things considered, Ronald Koeman should think about sanctioning Dembele’s departure when the transfer window commences in January.

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