Barcelona confirmed Monday that Ousmane Dembele will be out for four months after undergoing surgery on a knee injury picked up while playing for France at Euro 2020.
The 24-year-old was forced out of the tournament after suffering the problem playing for Les Bleus against Hungary on June 19. Dembele has now undergone surgery in Finland, and the Catalans have offered an update via the club’s official website.
“Ousmane Dembélé has successfully undergone surgery on a dislocated distal tendon in the femoral biceps of his right knee. Performed in Turku (Finland) by Doctor Lasse Lempainen and under the supervision of the FC Barcelona Medical Services, the operation means the French striker will be side-lined for about four months.”
The news means that Dembele will miss the start of the 2021-22 La Liga season which is scheduled to kick off on the weekend of August 14-15 and also the start of the Champions League.
The group stage draw for Europe’s top competition will be held on August 26 and the first round of matches are set for 14-15 September. Barcelona players are due back for medical check-ups on July 9 and 10 and the first training session will take place on July 12.
Barcelona must also make a big decision on Dembele’s future over the summer. The France international is out of contract in 2022 and is yet to agree a contract extension at the Camp Nou.
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Time For Memphis to Shine?
Dembele’s injury will be a blow to coach Ronald Koeman but does allow other players the chance to shine and try to secure a place in the starting XI for the 2021-22 campaign.
New signing Memphis Depay is one player who will be hoping to nail down a place in the attack after moving on a free transfer from Ligue 1 side Lyon. Depay can play out wide or through the middle and should bring goals and assists.
The Netherlands international has already made it clear how thrilled he is to be joining the club in a video for Barca TV. He said, “It’s finally official, I’m going to join FC Barcelona and I’m very excited about it. It’s literally a dream come true for me to join the biggest club in the world with the greatest fans.”
Ansu Fati Ready To Return?
Another player with a point to prove, and who could benefit from Dembele’s absence, is teenager Ansu Fati. The forward has been out since November 2020 because of a knee injury but is expected back in time for pre-season.
Fati is “progressing well” with his recovery and “is waiting for the go-ahead from doctors” to meet up with his teammates and begin preparations for the new campaign, according to Marca.
The youngster burst onto the scene in 2019-20, breaking records for club and country, and fans will be keen to see him back in action. Fati’s long injury absence means he may also feel like a new signing and will no doubt be eager to make up for lost time.