Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski has opened up on his team-mates at the Camp Nou and admits that he’s been particularly surprised by fellow attacker Ousmane Dembele.
The France international has been a key player for Barcelona this season, scoring 8 times and contributing 9 assists in all competitions for Xavi’s side. Lewandowski spoke to ESPN about his first impressions of the former Dortmund man.
“He is the guy who from the first training session at Barcelona, I was very surprised [by], positively surprised by how [much] talent [he has] and how good he is, how fast his feet are. For me, he is really the guy who can be the top of the top in his position,” he said. “He is already but sometimes injuries … he got an injury [in January]. But if he’s on the pitch, he can always do something with the ball. He can dribble so easy, so fast, like natural, pure talent. And this dribbling, if you see how he does it, how is it possible to be so fast? And you see that from the first training.”
Dembele is not the only player who has surprised Lewandowski at Barcelona. The Poland international has also admitted to being impressed by Brazilian forward Raphinha.
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When Will Dembele Return?
Dembele is currently sidelined with injury but is expected back after the international break. Barcelona play Real Madrid on Sunday in El Clasico and will then return to action on Sunday, April 1 against Elche.
The French forward has been out since sustaining a thigh injury against Girona in January but has suffered a setback in his recovery, as reported by Sport. Barcelona hope he could be available for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final against Madrid on April 5.
Raphinha will continue in the starting XI while Dembele it out. The Brazilian has been in strong form in 2023 and has 5 goals and 3 assists in his last 11 outings in all competitions for Xavi’s side.
Dembele Facing Stiff Competition For His Place
Raphinha’s form means that Dembele will face stiff competition for his place in the starting XI when he is fit. The Brazilian has already made it clear that he wants to play on the right of the attack and doesn’t feel comfortable on the opposite flank.
Dembele’s preference is also to play on the right, although he can play anywhere across the front three, which may hand Xavi something of a selection headache when all his attackers are fit.
There may be even more competition in the summer, with president Joan Laporta claiming recently that the club will try to bring in another attacker in the next transfer window.
However, Laporta also made it clear that if a new forward does arrive at the Camp Nou then “someone will have to leave” in order to make room in the squad and on the Catalan giants’ wage bill.
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