Ronald Koeman is “determined” to get the best out of Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona and wants the Frenchman to become a regular in his starting XI at the Camp Nou.
Dembele has been plagued by injury since arriving at Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund in summer 2017. He’s managed just 74 appearances in all competitions in just over three years.
According to German Bona at Sport, Koeman has “made it clear” since he replaced Quique Setien as coach in August that he believes in the forward and wants to “be the man who turns Dembele’s career around.”
The Dutchman has therefore worked on a “detailed plan to keep Dembele fit and available” ahead of the 2020-21 season.
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Koeman’s Plan For Dembele
Koeman’s plan to keep Dembele fit includes managing his “explosiveness” which puts the forward at increased risk of injury “if not controlled properly.” The new Barcelona manager will also manage his minutes carefully, while Dembele “will be monitored both on and off the pitch” to make sure “he follows the plan designed for him.”
Barcelona’s careful handling of Dembele has already been spotted in pre-season. The Frenchman was captured taking part in a specially-tailored warm-up before arriving as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-0 Joan Gamper Trophy win over Elche.
Anybody else catch Dembele's intense hamstring warmup before coming on last night?
Made us…hopeful. pic.twitter.com/ocpOAaSTVi
— total Barça (@totalBarca) September 20, 2020
Dembele arrived in the second half and wasted no time showing off his electric pace against the newly-promoted La Liga side.
Ousmane is fast.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 19, 2020
Barcelona won the match 1-0 thanks to Antoine Griezmann’s second-minute winner.
Dembele Back in the Goals
Dembele has already made an impact in pre-season for Barcelona. The Frenchman scored just five minutes into his first game for the Catalan giants since November 2019.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 12, 2020
According to Deportes Cuatro, Dembele has also been impressing Koeman on the training ground ahead of the new La Liga season. Certainly, the Frenchman looks in great shape and ready for the new campaign.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 8, 2020
Barcelona fans will be wary of expecting too much from Dembele given his injury record at the club but there will once again be hope the 23-year-old can finally show why the Catalans were so keen to bring him to the club.
If Koeman can get Dembele fit and firing on a consistent basis it will offer the team an extra dimension in attack and will give the club’s hopes of landing silverware in 2020-21 a big boost.