Over the past two weeks, there has been a lot of speculation about who is going to be Neymar’s replacement at Barcelona. The likes of Philippe Coutinho and Paulo Dybala have been considered frontrunners to play in the left forward position for FC Barcelona this season. Ousmane Dembele is another name being mentioned to sign for the Catalan club. If Barcelona do manage to snatch the French wonderkid from Borussia Dortmund, Ousmane Dembele could potentially become one of the best signings they have made within the last decade.
Recent events suggests that Ousmane is looking to make a move away from the Bundesliga runner-ups before the transfer window ends. After failing to report to training camp, Dortmund indefinitely suspended the twenty year old winger. Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund have held talks over a potential transfer. If the deal were to go through, it could cost the Blaugrana over one hundred million euros.
With the potential and quality that Dembele possesses, it certainly will be worth it for Barcelona to spend a lot of cash on the youngster. Over the past two seasons, the winger has teared apart the French top flight division and the Bundesliga. His mesmerizing skills and blistering pace has impressed many individuals within the footballing world. For a player that is only twenty years of age, he plays with a lot of confidence and is not afraid to take on any defender in world football.
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) August 5, 2017
Gerard Deulofeu is seen as the Barcelona player that would most likely replace Neymar if Barca does not sign anyone before the transfer window ends. It would be a major risk to start the Spanish winger regularly this season. Not too long ago, Gerard Deulofeu was considered a player who may never fulfill his potential after his questionable performances for mid-table English club Everton. Only after a decent short spell at AC Milan did Barcelona decide to bring Deulofeu back to Catalonia.
Unlike Dembele, Gerard has yet to score more than ten goals in one season at the top level. This must be a concern for a club of Barcelona’s pedigree considering the fact they had players like Neymar, Pedro and Thierry Henry play for them on the wings in recent years. All these players were capable of scoring more than ten goals in a wide position for Barcelona and that has been key to Barcelona’s success in recent years. Gerard Deulofeu is a player that can become a top quality player, but has not yet proven that he can play in a wide forward position and help the likes of Messi and Suarez out by scoring more than ten goals in a season.
There are also other players at Barcelona that may play the left wing position for Barcelona if the club does not bring in new players. Arda Turan, Denis Suarez and Rafinha are all players that may play on the left flank for the Spanish club this season. Arda Turan will soon be thirty-one years old and is looking for a new club to play for. Unable to play at the top level anymore, Turan may be moving back to Turkey in order to play for Galatasaray. Denis Suarez is a player than is no better than average and does not possess the pace and killer instinct in front of goal that Dembele possesses. At twenty-three years of age, he is another Spanish player that has yet to score ten goals in a season at the top level and Barcelona should not be considering a player of that caliber to replace Neymar.
Then there is Rafinha Alcantara, the brother of well-renowned midfielder Thiago Alacantara. Rafinha is a player that when given a chance, has performed well for Barcelona. He even has shown that he can be ruthless in front of goal, scoring seven goals in only twenty-eight games in all competitions last season. Unfortunately for him, he has had injury problems recently and may be a liability to play regularly. Also, a player of his prototype should not be playing in a left wing position and his better in a central midfield position. His exquisite passing ability and ability to control the tempo of the game would allow him to perform well alongside the likes of Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta in the midfield.
Ousmane Dembele has what a lot of the players mentioned above do not have. He has a good goalscoring record, the ability to provide assists for his teammates and a good injury record thus far. Scoring ten goals and providing twenty-one assists in all competitions at a high caliber club in Borussia Dortmund is extremely impressive. At Barcelona, he would be able to improve on that, especially since he will be playing with two top five players in the world in Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. He is also a player who is most comfortable playing out wide. Other players who Barcelona are interested in signing, such as Paulo Dybala and Philippe Coutinho are more comfortable in a central role and will not provide Barcelona with the pace and width that they desperately need now that Neymar is gone.
Ousmane has a similar playing style to Neymar. He is not scared to go past defenders, is very skillful on the ball and will either stay alongside the byline and cross or cut inside and shoot. Barcelona fans will not have to worry about missing a player who can excite fans with extraordinary skills and pace on the left flank if they sign Dembele. At twenty years of age, Ousmane has plenty of time to play at a high level and become a sensational player at Barcelona. The Catalan club must act quickly and secure his services before it is too late and they regret not signing a player who may be a future Ballon d’or winner.