Analysing Ousmane Dembele

Analysing Ousmane Dembele requires much more detail than the impulsive reactions we are too used to when it comes to discussing him — when defending a player, many times some fans try to instead criticise a teammate or person. Assessing his perfomance against Getafe should be more than a ˙yes˙ or a ˙no˙ on whether he had a good game, but we should look at the bigger picture.

In his 3 years here, Dembele has been injured a lot, has had little continuity, hasn’t had a teacher like Pep Guardiola…But still, we know enough about his qualities and weaknesses. Verticality, speed and, mostly, his capacity to take on defenders and accelerate the play are inherent virtues of his that could make him different to everyone else in the squad.

His 3 coaches at Barça have all praised his conditions and, nonetheless, have expressed the struggles to unlock them. The reliable El Pais reported a few days ago that Ronald Koeman had been shocked by the winger’s lack of game comprehension. This is something that can indeed be taught and improved, but still, it is undeniable that he has much greater struggles in his awareness, collective sense and learning capacity than, for example, a 17-year-old Pedri.

Dembélé has so far been a soloist, even if his ability to dribble and shake up games could come like a breath of fresh air on certain occasions. Yet honestly, his problems are not for a lack of continuity or rhythm, but for worrying cognitive lapses that should have been polished by the age of 23. Would love that he could stay fit for months for everyone to be able to draw more definite conclusions.

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