Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman explained why Ousmane Dembele did not feature in the club’s 3-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The Frenchman was left on the bench as Koeman opted for the same starting XI that beat Villarreal 4-0 on Sunday in their first game of the season.
Koeman did make changes during the game. He brought on Ronald Araujo and youngsters Pedri and Francisco Trincao. However, Dembele did not get off the bench, and Koeman told reporters after the game why he had not turned to the Frenchman.
The Dutch coach explained: “Pedri & Trincao add more defensively, for that reason I went with them.”
Dembele’s future at the club is currently the subject of much speculation ahead of the close of the transfer window on October 5. According to RAC1’s Gerard Romero, the Frenchman is beginning to have doubts about his future at the club.
Premier League side Manchester United want to sign Dembele on loan with a purchase option, while Barcelona would prefer a permanent transfer.
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Koeman Happy With Barcelona Win
Koeman also spoke about his happiness at Barcelona’s win. The team picked up a first win at Balaidos in La Liga for five years despite playing over half the game with 10 men after Clement Lenglet was sent off.
“We did great work. I’m very proud of this team and this game. I think we worked really well. We played with a lot of discipline despite playing with 10 men, we created the best chances to scored. I’m very happy.
“[Ansu Fati and Lionel Messi] were really good, like the whole team. Lionel worked really hard without the ball and he’s been very important. We are doing a good job. These results invite us to think that we are on the right track.”
Barcelona have now won both of their La Liga games under Koeman, scoring seven goals without reply. They are back in action again on Sunday when Europa League winners Sevilla visit the Camp Nou.