Dembélé celebrates his goal against Sevilla at Sánchez-Pizjuán.Angel Fernandez / A
P ”What happened to Dembélé? It's simple, he got scared. ”
Ousmane Dembélé (Vernon, 23 years old) has continued to live since he arrived in Barcelona with his lifelong friend, Moustapha Diatta, and with his uncle, Malick Dembélé. He still spends long hours playing the console and is still lazy to get up when the alarm clock goes off. However, something has changed in the French forward's routines,
Dembélé has accumulated 16 games without any muscular problems. His record for consecutive matches, in any case, he has in the 2018-2019 season, up to 30 with Ernesto Valverde on the Camp Nou bench . That campaign, in which he suffered three of the 10 injuries that have happened since he signed for Barça in the 2017-2018 season in exchange for 105 million plus 40 in variables, ended with 42 games (2,503 minutes), 14 goals and eight assists. In the absence of a minimum of 14 games for the season finale, the winger has played 32 games (1,999), scored eight goals and provided four assists. In this course, Dembélé has only lost five games due to injury, the 5.8% of which he missed due to being out since he wore the Barça shirt (85).
“Ousmane realized that if he continued the same way, his professional career was ending. He had exhausted all opportunities. He found himself in a dead end and got scared ”, they explain in the Ciudad Deportiva del Barcelona. Many people had tried to rescue Dembélé: Valverde, Abidal, Lenglet and Griezmann, even Messi and Luis Suárez were concerned about the attitude of the talented winger. His representative, Moussa Sissoko, who lives in London, spent long periods in Barcelona to redirect him. "You have to change, son," his mother asked him. But nothing. Dembélé continued with his bad routines, with his disorder in the schedules and with his terrible diet. He had no more attention than for Moustapha Diatta and Malick Dembélé, who assured him that he was "better than Mbappé. "You can win the Ballon d'Or," his roommates encouraged him.
But fear can be more powerful than vanity. And Dembélé, convinced that his talent was above professionalism, found that the Manchester United offer last summer was a diversionary maneuver from his representative and that Barça's renewal proposal hung by a thread if he did not change his attitude (His contract expires in June 2022). The first thing he did was hire a French cook to prepare his four meals a day. “Coca-Cola is forbidden, if he is thirsty he prepares a shake for him. He is watching over him all day, ”they explain at Barça. In addition, Dembélé hired a physical trainer and works with a personal physiotherapist. "All the training routines that he does individually are coordinated with those of the club," say the same sources.
"When I arrived at the club, Ousmane was physically very fragile. Even when he was at Borussia or Nantes he was fragile. Here I have evolved a lot with the physical trainers. The coach has to try to create an atmosphere within the squad and put in the necessary training sessions, but a large part of his change is due to Dembélé ”, emphasizes Koeman. In the sports management of Barça they were considering an offer for the Frenchman. The arrival of Joan Laporta to the presidency of the club benefits the player. “I am a big Dembélé fan. He has settled down and is in a spectacular moment of form and mentally he is also strong. They are players that I will try to keep them at Barça for many years. I have always expressed myself in favor of Ousmane, I think he deserves special treatment because you have to take care of these types of great players, "the current president assured journalist Gerard Romero on his Twitch channel.
Dembélé always had Messi by his side. Please, as he also had the affection of Valverde and Setién. Koeman not only supports him, but his bet is so decisive and continuous that he pampers him and aligns him ahead of Griezmann. The difference is that now the one who takes care of himself is him.