Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has made a decision on the futures of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, and Antoine Griezmann and has told all three players he’s counting on them for next season.
The trio are the three most expensive signings in Barcelona’s history, but all of the players have struggled to have the kind of impact expected when they arrived at the Camp Nou.
Coutinho is just back from a loan spell with Bayern Munich, Dembele is fit after another injury-plagued campaign, while Griezmann has found it difficult to adapt to life at the Camp Nou since his move from Atletico.
Yet despite all the difficulties the three players are part of Koeman’s plans, according to Helena Condis at COPE. Indeed the Dutch coach is “counting” on the trio ahead of the new campaign and will be hoping they can rediscover their best form at the Camp Nou.
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Griezmann Blasts Barca Exit Rumors
Griezmann’s struggles at Barcelona have prompted speculation over the forward’s future. However, the World Cup winner hit back at the speculation after France’s win over Croatia on Tuesday, according to Mundo Deportivo
“If my future is at Barça? Yes, I don’t know why people invent destinations to see if one day they will be right. But there I am very well, I know I have the confidence of the club and the coach so I am well. It has been a very complicated season for all of us and now we start again.”
The 29-year-old was frequently played out wide on the left in his debut season at Barcelona but still contributed 15 goals in all competitions for the Catalans.
Koeman has stated he wants Griezmann to play “in his own position” next season which should help get the best out of the Frenchman who arrived for €120 million in July 2019.
Coutinho & Dembele Out to Impress
Coutinho and Dembele will also be out to impress the new manager. The Brazilian has returned to pre-season training ahead of schedule “because he didn’t want to lose his momentum and fitness,” according to his agent Kia Joorabchian.
Dembele has also looked in good shape in pre-season after recovering from a torn hamstring that required surgery in February.
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Barcelona’s reliance on captain Lionel Messi for attacking inspiration was evident again last season with the Argentine finishing top of the scoring and assists charts in La Liga.
Koeman knows he needs more from his attacking players if his team are to enjoy success next season and will be hoping Coutinho, Griezmann, and Dembele can start to repay some of the huge investment made to bring them to the Camp Nou.