Koeman and his balancing act with Barça star Ousmane Dembele

The Frenchman's been on the bench in the last two games as a precaution

Dembélé apunta a titular en Hungría
Dembélé apunta a titular en Hungría | sport

Ronald Koeman does not want to take any risks with Ousmane Dembele. The injuries that have blighted his stay at Barcelona so far mean the club are managing him very carefully, which explains his bench role against Dynamo Kiev and Osasuna. Koeman has faith in him, as he showed by picking him against Atletico Madrid. However, in that game he sprained his shoulder, which is the reason why he has not been risked in the last two games. Against Ferencvaros this week, the ex-Borussia Dortmund man could return to the XI. 

Toni Juanmartí


Aside from the shoulder setback, Dembele is finally stringing together a run of games, which is allowing him to get close to 100 percent. Unfortunately, this latest minor problem has set him back slightly again, although there is light is at the end of the tunnel. Koeman is clear, though: no risks necessary. The objective is to keep Dembele fit for the whole season, not just now. 

The Barça coach feels Dembele is important because of his speed and his ability to open up games by taking players on. Along with Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati, he's one of the few players in the squad capable of that. He has scored three times this season and has one assist as well. Little by little, he's getting his smile back. He also scored against Osasuna on Sunday but VAR ruled the goal out because of offside against Trincao. 

With a packed calendar, not going with France for international duty was good for Dembele. It allowed him to do fitness work. But Koeman still doesn't want to load him with minutes. On Wednesday, though, he could be back. Messi could rest again, while Trincao could also come into the team from the off. 



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