Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta has heaped praise on Ousmane Dembele’s showing this season and believes the Frenchman can become a very important player for Barcelona in the future. The France international endured a difficult first season with the Blaugrana last term where hamstring concerns reduced his gametime from the starting lineup.
However, he has enjoyed a much better season this time around with 13 goals and seven assists across all competitions and his progress has caught the eye of Iniesta. Speaking to Goal.com, the former Spain international hailed the qualities of the World Cup winner and stated that the forward can become a hugely influential figure with the Catalans in years to come.
He said: “He is a very special player who can decide a game on his own. Ousmane has so much witty playfulness, speed and determination. He helps Barca with his genius. He’s also been scoring very regularly this season. It is a pity that his injury has thrown him back a little bit lately. In the coming years he can become a very, very important player for Barca.”
Dembele had been linked with a potential move away from the Camp Nou during the previous summer transfer window with suggestions that he could struggle for gametime with Philippe Coutinho in the club’s ranks. However, as the season has progressed, it has rather become the vice-versa and it has been Coutinho, who has been regularly starting from the bench.
Still, “the Frenchman does not have the complete assurance, given Coutinho would be prepared to pounce on any opportunity offered“. The attacker recently suffered an unfortunate hamstring injury during the recent 3-1 triumph over Rayo Vallecano, and that should leave him on the sidelines for “the next few games“ at the least where Coutinho should command a starting role.
Barcelona’s forthcoming game comes against Lyon in the Champions League on Wednesday night. The Blaugrana only managed a 0-0 draw against the French outfit during the away leg of the round of 16 stage and they have everything to do when Les Gones make the Camp Nou trip.