Barcelona Legend Expects More From Dembele, Wants Him To Prove He’s Worth Hefty Investment

KEY POINTS

  • Barcelona legend Rivaldo wants Ousmane Dembele to prove his worth
  • Dembele could still move out in January
  • Dembele has been plagued by injuries and has missed many training sessions

Ousmane Dembele ended up staying with FC Barcelona after Manchester United failed to get anything done. The 23-year-old will have no choice but to play on for Ronald Koeman, at least until the Red Devils or another club explores a potential deal in January. Until that time comes, all the French forward can do is prove his worth with Barca.

Dembele owns a hefty $123 million contract, something that Barcelona legend Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira feels needs to be justified. In an interview with Betfair, he pointed out that Dembele has been inconsistent at Camp Nou, missing practices and often out injured.

“Ousmane Dembele rejected a move in the transfer window. That wouldn’t be a problem if he were playing regularly but that’s not the case as he continues to get injured or miss training schedules and that’s not good,” Rivaldo said.

Rivaldo said he wants to see more maturity in Dembele. There is no question that the 23-year-old is a fine footballer, but he has yet to prove that he is worth the big money and effort that Barca invested to get him from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, according to the former Barcelona star.

“He is an excellent player but he needs to prove that wants to play and take responsibility. The club paid a lot for him and they aren’t seeing any return from that yet. Let’s see if he can show the commitment that he’ll need to become an important member of Koeman’s squad,” Rivaldo added.

Dembele managed to score only four goals in 24 matches in his first season. From there, he has been held back by injuries that have prevented him from unleashing his true potential. He missed the whole of last season due to a hamstring injury, allowing Antoine Griezmann to take his spot.

Aside from that, he has missed training sessions at Camp Nou, and now, most are questioning his commitment to Blaugrana. The good news is that he is now back in harness. However, it remains that he is rusty and will need to exert more effort if he wants to make Koeman’s first squad, Goal reported.

With Luis Suarez no longer around, Dembele was the player most were expecting to step up. But it appears that will take time. Rivaldo feels Barca should have pursued a new striker in the last transfer window.

Regardless, Barcelona has been doing well and showing improvement under Koeman, though there are still some issues that need to be resolved from within.

 Ousmane Dembele (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund Ousmane Dembele (L) of Barcelona competes for the ball with Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund Photo: Getty Images | Pablo Morano