Barca forward Ousmane Dembele's balloon has deflated

Barca forward Ousmane Dembele's balloon has deflated

The Frenchman started the season well but now he's out on the fringes

Ousmane Dembele started the season in the clouds but his balloon has been deflating. The Frenchman is no longer a protagonist at Barcelona. His presence has diminished and he’s being used as a late substitute. Against Atletico he came on with 15 minutes to go but headed over the bar when he might have scored.

Comparing to how disastrous he was in previous years, it’s clear that this season he’s reverted that dynamic. Between December and April he managed 25 consecutive appearances, 17 as a starter. In total this year he’s managed 10 goals and four assists, with three games remaining.

He has suffered more since Koeman changed system to three at the back, as there’s no space for a pure winger. He started off up front with Messi but Antoine Griezmann has claimed that spot now.

Dembele had a groin issue that started off a poor month. He was out against Getafe and didn’t play against Valencia. He’s been a sub against Villarreal, Granada and Atletico, playing a total of 45 minutes.

Dembele cost Barca 135 million euros but has not managed to repay that in performances with his deal up in 2022. It’s not clear if he will stay, because he has not agreed a contract renewal. If he doesn’t sign they will have to sell him this summer.

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