New Barcelona boss Quique Setien has said that watching Ousmane Dembele train brings a tear to his eye.
The French winger is currently on the road back from injury and his immense efforts to recover have not gone unnoticed by Setien.
Has Dembele’s struggled at Barcelona? Five things to know…
- Dembele joined Barcelona in 2017 for £135.5 million.
- However, his time at the club hasn’t been an easy ride.
- A hamstring injury has hampered him since he arrived in Catalonia.
- Reports also said that he skipped training due to spending the night playing video games.
- However, Setien’s arrival could signal a new era for Dembele at the club.
The 22-year-old has been out since November with a hamstring injury, which has restricted him to just nine first-team appearances all season and a solitary goal.
He managed 13 goal contributions in the league last season but has somewhat failed to live up to the hype that surrounded him when he joined Barca for a gargantuan fee. It’s been somewhat disrupted by disciplinary and physical issues, but Setien believes that Dembele’s hunger for football is still there.
He told Sport: “With Dembele, we have not yet spoken. Like most, he has things he can improve on.
“You have to keep in mind that they are still young kids. Their dedication, from what I have seen, is total and absolute. I have tears when I see the capacity and intensity in which he works.”
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Can he fill the Suarez void?
The fact striker Luis Suarez is likely to miss the rest of the season through injury has opened a door for Dembele.
The likelihood is that Griezmann will move into Suarez’s role and someone (ideally Dembele) will come and take up the position that the French striker has vacated.
Barcelona failed to secure a short-term replacement for the Uruguayan in the January transfer window, but Setien remained positive on the matter, suggesting that Dembele’s return from injury is as good as a signing.
He added: “We are delighted with Dembele. He can be the winter signing. You never know how things happen and we always think positively. It’s clear that his recovery will come in handy.”