The big problem for Ousmane Dembele at PSG

The big problem for Ousmane Dembele at PSG

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Since Ousmane Dembélé arrived in Paris on August 12, the Paris Saint-Germain squad has been constantly receiving new faces. This overhaul occurred primarily in the attacking department, with the exception of Kylian Mbappé, who remains a key attraction in Luis Enrique's new project.

The departures of Messi and Neymar forced PSG's management to spend large sums to provide the Asturian coach with reliable options in the offensive line. Alongside Dembélé, the French club has signed Gonçalo Ramos, Marco Asensio, Kang In Lee, Bradley Barcola, and Kolo Muani, the latter being a last-minute addition.

In total, this spending exceeds 300 million euros when including the 28.5 million euros paid for the mandatory purchase option on Hugo Ekitiké, who ultimately wasn't sold.

This influx of eight attacking players opens up numerous possibilities for PSG but also intensifies competition for spots, especially considering Mbappé's undisputed status as a starter. This heightened competition poses a significant challenge for Dembélé, who initially arrived in Paris as one of the stars of the project but now faces increased competition for playing time.

Within the familiar 4-3-3 formation that PSG has used in the early matches, Luis Enrique has two positions left to fill, with seven possibilities and numerous variations. Besides Mbappé, who seems to prefer playing wide, PSG signed Barcola and Kolo Muani in the final hours of the transfer market with the expectation that they would be starters.

Another option is using Gonçalo Ramos as the sole center forward, as he is the only true "number 9" in the squad. Ramos played in the first two games and missed the victory against Lens due to injury. If Luis Enrique opts for a pure center forward, the Portuguese is the likely choice, especially given the 80 million euros PSG spent to bring him in, following his standout performances at the last World Cup.

Marco Asensio could also serve as a false nine, as he did in the match against Lens, where the Spanish player displayed great form. Asensio may start as a substitute, but if his performance remains effective, Luis Enrique may not hesitate to include him in the starting lineup.

Kang-In Lee and Ekitiké appear to face a tougher challenge to secure a spot in the starting lineup, especially in the case of the Korean player. However, both players are highly versatile and can offer different resources to Luis Enrique.

In summary, Dembélé finds himself in a situation where his playing time and role have become significantly more competed for since his arrival in Paris, with the arrival of several new attacking options. His lack of consistency, which was an issue during his time at Barcelona, and the risk of injuries could hinder his ambitions with the Parisian club. Furthermore, PSG's manager, Luis Enrique, values performance above all and has a track record of making bold decisions regardless of a player's status or reputation.

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