Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has been offered hope a recall to the France squad may not be too far away after returning to full fitness with the Catalan giants.
National team boss Didier Deschamps has not included Dembele in his France squad for forthcoming fixtures against Finland, Portugal, and Sweden but did talk about the 23-year-old at a news conference, as reported by AS.
Does he still have a chance? Yes, Dembélé is coming back from a major injury. We must give him time. I know what he is capable of. He had physical problems, but now it is up to him to find his full potential. This is not yet the case and it is normal.
Dembele’s time at Barcelona has been plagued by injury since he arrived from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. Yet he is fit again after undergoing hamstring surgery in February and has made seven appearances for Barca so far in 2020-21.
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Optimism Over Dembele
Dembele has also offered hope he can get back to his best form in his outings in the early weeks of the season. He produced a goal and an assist after coming on as a substitute in the Champions League win over Ferencvaros.
The Frenchman was also on target in an impressive 2-0 win over Serie A champions Juventus at the Allianz Stadium in Europe’s top competition.
Dembele was also a little unfortunate not to score for a third Champions League game in a row on Wednesday. The forward again arrived as a substitute and came close with a rising shot that was brilliantly saved by the Dynamo Kiev goalkeeper.
Only three of Dembele’s appearances for Barca in 2020-21 have come as a starter but it’s no surprise to see manager Ronald Koeman being cautious with the attacker given his injury history.
The Dutch coach also took time out to praise Dembele before Barca’s 1-1 draw with Alaves on Saturday at a pre-match press conference.
He is creative, he has a lot of speed, and the team needs people to go one against one because you create spaces and lose balls in areas of the field that are not important. He can improve but above all seek one-on-one, enter the wing and improve some tactical aspects but the important thing for him is that that he is physically well.
France Calls-Ups for Griezmann and Lenglet
Dembele may not be in the France squad, but Barcelona team-mates Antoine Griezmann and Clement Lenglet have made the 26-man list.
Both players head into the match with question marks over their current form at club level. Center-back Lenglet was replaced in the Barca starting XI to face Dynamo Kiev by midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Meanwhile, Griezmann started the match but missed an absolute sitter in the opening 10 minutes, leaving him with just one goal for Barcelona so far in 2020-21. There’s no doubt it’s been a tough start to the season for the France international, but he’ll be hoping he can rediscover his goalscoring touch on international duty.