Saturday, January 25, 2020

Ousmane Dembele & Liverpool: Frenchman the Risk Not Worth Taking

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Liverpool appear to be heavily tipped to make a January move for Barcelona starlet Ousmane Dembele.

The Reds are said to be contemplating a big-money move for the Frenchman this winter but there is a strong list of reason to suggest Jurgen Klopp would be making a mistake in doing so.

Building the Case Against Frenchman

Ousmane Dembele joined Barcelona as an infinitely talented teenager from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. The Catalans forked out initial £97 million (in a transfer said to be worth in excess of £130 million) to lay their hands on the youngster who was supposed to be a direct replacement of Brazilian superstar Neymar.

Little has been made at the time of the manner Dembele left the Bundesliga heavyweights BVB, however. During his time with Borussia Dortmund, Ousmane Dembele was renting Jurgen Klopp’s home – cue the symbolism – in Germany with the Liverpool manager owning it from his time as a Dortmund manager.

Feeling desperate to force through his move to Barcelona, Ousmane Dembele was said to have left the property in a terrible state. Bild published an article at the time with images showing bin bags scattered across the front garden along with clothes and furniture not being looked after at all.

Excited to get a first-hand experience with one of Europe’s most talented footballers, the Catalans paid little respect to such negligence and Liverpool should know better than that. Especially with a pile of new evidence suggesting that Ousmane Dembele is highly unstable – or at best unreliable – person.

 Talent without Effort

Their vision curtailed by a prospect of having Dembele fill in Neymar’s shoes, Barcelona supporters went that far not to even raise their eyebrows or flinch an inch when Frenchman hilariously failed to perform some keepy-ups during the customary Barcelona unveil.

A hamstring injury early on in his Barcelona career prevented Ousmane Dembele from making a brighter impression as Frenchman largely struggled to hold down a permanent place following his return to the first-team.

Three goals in 17 La Liga matches during his maiden season at Barcelona were not exactly what the Catalan heavyweights were hoping a record-breaking transfer and the second most expensive player at the time would bring them.

Fast forward into the new season Ousmane Dembele has yet to prove his true worth to the club and – more importantly – is constantly failing to display the expected level of effort that would match his undeniable talent.

An Addict?

Eleven games and four goals thus far in the new campaign might strike us as a sign of improvement compared to last season but emerging reports of Dembele’s unprofessionalism is starting to anger the club officials and supporters alike.

Earlier this week a report from Spanish newspaper Diario AS has suggested that Dembele had missed a training session following an all-night video game session with friends. Dembele’s attitude has set the alarm bells ringing at Barcelona culminating in coach Ernesto Valverde leaving him out of his squad for their match against Real Betis last weekend.

The 21-year-old claimed to have been down with a stomach problem and both club and his agent were quick to suggest Dembele was not being punished.

All would have been forgotten had Dembele learnt from his mistakes and improved his conduct. The Frenchman, however, is said to have raised concerns over a gaming addiction which is compromising his discipline.

Dembele’s poor time-keeping skills and carelessness towards club responsibilities and nonchalant approach to his duties are all indicators suggesting the talented forward is in need of professional assistance.

Discount Price Worth a Risk?

Ousmane Dembele is said to be given an ultimatum at Barcelona.

The Catalans are losing patience over a player who is given all support he needed and a platform required to succeed but his constant failure of living up to expectations appears to have persuaded Barcelona to give up on the French talent. In the meantime, Liverpool have been informed they will need to pay £89 million in January if they want to sign Dembele in January, according to Sport.

The Premier League title chasers – standing at 4/1 betting odds to lift the domestic trophy – should analyse the situation closely before making a final decision on Dembele though.

Remember this?

Jurgen Klopp’s funny reaction to Dembele rumours aside, the German is sure to take all of the aforementioned aspects of his persona into account.

Dembele fits the bill with his on-pitch talents as he can be deployed in a number of positions with his versatility being a fine complement to the Reds’ front three – Salah, Mane and Firmino.

The German tactician is known for his educational approach in management and is renowned for his ability to improve players – especially mentally. Dembele’s chronic nonchalance is a rather worrying aspect, however, and being at a particularly delicate moment and an upword trajectory, the last thing the Liverpool boss would need is a talent in distress.

The value to get in relation to the money involved definitely makes Frenchman a risk not worth taking.


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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