Koeman's Dembele U-turn: he will get minutes but must improve in defence

The Dutch coach is on top of the winger to get better at protecting his full-back

Dembélé mostró su mejor cara ante la Juventus | MEDIAPRO

Sergi Capdevila

Many (not without reason) will say that we have already sold the return of Ousmane Dembele a thousand times, that now his moment, that he must step forward, that he has to channel his enormous talent...

It is true that the Frenchman has shown us so drops of his brilliance throughout his three years at Barça but also that, unfortunately, he has made more headlines for non-sporting issues than for his performances on the field. But there is no other option. Right now, he is one of the players that needs to deliver after the traumatic injury oftoAnsu Fati, one of the great generators of illusion at Barcelona. 

Dembele's numbers have been good in recent games and he's proved that coach Ronald Koeman was telling the truth when a transfer to Manchester United failed to materialise: "Ousmane is with us and he's part of the squad. If he earns it, he will play." 

After taking a while to adapt following a lengthy injury lay off, Dembele has slowly come into the team. He's warming up. It's key that he looks after himself and is disciplined to ensure no more muscle injuries. On several days off, he has gone into training to follow a plan to improve his strength.  

Pie de foto | AUTOR FOTO

ROTATION 

If Koeman said early on this season that Pedri and Trincao were ahead of Dembele, what's true now is that Dembele's getting more minutes than Trincao. And he's taken advantage of those minutes, scoring three goals. Trincao is still getting chances, but mainly off the bench.  

With the injury to Ansu (four months out), the panorama has changed at Camp Nou and Dembele's role becomes more important as a wide player who can beat a man. 

However, Koeman still wants improvements. He will use the international break to work on certain aspects of his game, notably defensively, where there's still room to improve. Against Real Betis, you could see Koeman trying to correct Dembele's defensive attitude. He left Sergi Roberto exposed against Alex Moreno and it's there where the Dutch coach will get to work in the international break. 

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