Barcelona Confirm Injuries to Ousmane Dembele & Sergino Dest

Ousmane Dembele

Getty Ousmane Dembele warms up for Barcelona

Barcelona confirmed on Thursday that Ousmane Dembele and Sergino Dest have both been ruled out of action and are unavailable for selection after picking up injuries.

“The first team player Sergiño Dest has lower back pain. He is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return,” read a statement on the club’s website. “For his part, the first team player Ousmane Dembélé has a strain in the semimembranosus muscle of his left hamstring. He is unavailable for selection and his recovery will dictate his return.”

Dembele only returned from a four-month lay-off as a substitute in Tuesday’s Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev but has now picked up a hamstring problem and is sidelined once more.

The 24-year-old is expected to be out for around 3-4 weeks, as reported by Javi Miguel at Diario AS. The news is a further blow to the Frenchman who has been plagued by injury since he signed for the Catalan giants in 2017 from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

Dest missed the win over Dynamo Kiev and has now been ruled out with a back problem. The 21-year-old will also miss Saturday’s trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga and is expected to sit out the USMNT’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The two players join Pedri, Sergio Aguero, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, and Martin Braithwaite on the injury list at the Camp Nou. Barcelona’s game at Celta on Saturday, November 6 is the team’s final fixture before the last international break of 2021. The team’s first game after the break is not until November 20 when local rivals Espanyol visit the Camp Nou.

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Gavi To Continue at Right Wing?

The injuries to Dest and Dembele mean interim coach Sergi Barjuan could use 17-year-old midfielder Gavi on the right of the attack once again at Celta. The youngster took over from Dest against Dynamo Kiev and put in a solid showing in an unfamiliar position.

Barjuan admitted it had been a last-minute decision to employ Gavi on the right wing and spoke about the youngster’s contribution after the crucial win at his post-match press conference.

“It was a last minute change due to Dest’s injury to put him on the right,” he said. “In midfield we had what we wanted with Busquets, Frenkie and Nico. With Gavi we gained intensity in the middle, although we lost depth, but it went well to go out like this.”

Dest has been employed in a more advanced position for Barcelona in recent weeks because of injuries to attackers Sergio Aguero, Braithwaite, and Ansu Fati. However, Barjuan must decide whether to continue with Gavi or look for another solution.

Meanwhile, Oscar Mingueza could continue at right-back in place of Dest. The 22-year-old has filled in for the USMNT star in the Barca backline and looks set to continue in the starting XI.

Dembele Played Longer Than Expected?

Dembele’s latest injury could also see questions asked of Barjuan. The interim coach told UEFA after Tuesday’s win that he had decided to put the Frenchman on earlier than previously planned.

“We put Dembele on earlier than we’d told him he would after so long out,” he said. “But he makes such a difference – he plays at a different tempo, he’s very direct, he stretches things.”

Dembele played 25 minutes in Ukraine in what was his first appearance since undergoing surgery back in June. The forward picked up a knee problem that required surgery while playing for France at Euro 2020.

Injuries have been a feature of Barcelona’s season so far with key players such as Pedri, Pique, Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Ronald Araujo, and Ansu Fati among of host of stars to spend time on the sidelines already in 2021-22.

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