Ousmane Dembele has sent new manager Ronald Koeman a message by turning up for Barcelona training on Friday despite the team having been given four days off.
The Frenchman was spotted leaving Barcelona’s Cuitat Esportiva training ground after spending a couple of hours at the club on Friday morning.
Hoy Dembelé fue a entrenar a la ciudad deportiva día en el que el Barça tenía libre. El francés quiere demostrar a Koeman implicación. Llegó a las 09.30h y se fue a las 11.50h Lo contamos en @DeportesCuatro y @telecincoes #fcb #fcblive pic.twitter.com/lOUGj2o1tp
— David Ibáñez (@DavidIbanez5) October 8, 2020
Dembele was also at the training ground alone on Thursday, to make up for missing Monday’s session through illness, but was not due to report on Friday, according to Sport.
The Frenchman wants to show his “commitment” to the club and try to earn a place in Koeman’s team after a deadline-day move to Manchester United collapsed.
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Can Dembele Convince Koeman?
Koeman has yet to select Dembele in his starting XI in La Liga in 2020-21 and is “furious” with the Frenchman after his late move fell through, according to Juan Jimenez at AS.
The Dutch coach wanted to bring in Memphis Depay in attack but needed to offload Dembele first. Injuries mean the 23-year-old has slipped down the pecking order at the Camp Nou but he still chose to stay at the club.
Dembele looks to have his work cut out convincing Koeman he deserves a place in his team. Yet turning up for training this week on his day off may have helped his cause. El Chiringuito’s Jose Alvarez reports Koeman is “very happy” Dembele’s been putting extra work in.
Barcelona Legend Blasts Dembele
One person who does not appear happy with Dembele is former Barcelona forward Rivaldo. The Brazilian has taken aim at the Frenchman in his latest column for Betfair.
“Ousmane Dembélé rejected a move in the transfer window. That wouldn’t be a problem if he were playing regularly but that’s not the case as he continues to get injured or miss training schedules and that’s not good.
“He is an excellent player but he needs to prove that wants to play and take responsibility. The club paid a lot for him and they aren’t seeing any return from that yet. Let’s see if he can show the commitment that he’ll need to become an important member of Koeman’s squad.”
Dembele’s only appearance in 2020-21 so far has come as a late substitute in Barca’s 4-0 win over Villarreal. Ansu Fati, Francisco Trincao, and Pedri have all been selected ahead of Dembele by Koeman, and the Frenchman faces a real battle to regain a place in the team.