Ronald Koeman offers Ousmane Dembele a lifeline at Barcelona despite exit talks, while the Dutch boss says ‘it’s a shame’.
- Ousmane Dembele’s absence is a ‘shame’ for Barcelona, says Ronald Koeman
- Frenchman out for four months after surgery for knee injury
- Koeman thinks Dembele is crucial for the team because he is an ‘other’ option
Ronald Koeman has expressed disappointment at the loss of Ousmane Dembele to a serious knee injury, as the Barcelona coach considers the Frenchman irreplaceable in his attack.
At Euro 2020, Dembélé suffered major damage to his right knee when he played for France against Hungary, who came off the bench minutes earlier.
Dembele underwent surgery in Finland under the supervision of Dr. Lasse Lemtainen and the Barcelona medical staff.
Ousmane Dembele out for four months after a serious knee injury at Euro 2020
Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman expressed frustration as Dembele offers ‘other’ option sacrifices
The French winger won’t be playing until October at the earliest, which is a huge disappointment for Koeman as he looks to kick off a LaLiga title.
“He contributed a lot to us last year. He is different from what we have,” Koeman said, according to the Spanish newspaper Brand.
“I am very disappointed with his injury. The situation with his contract is also complicated. I hope he can return soon.’
It was discovered that Dembele had torn his biceps femoris muscle in his right knee.
His recovery schedule is unlikely to see him return to the club before the end of October, meaning he will not be able to play for the first seven weeks of the new season.
Injuries have become all too regular for Dembele, as he has missed a whopping 86 games for Barcelona through injury since joining the club in 2017.
Dembélé (right) kick-started his Barcelona career with a promising 2020-21 season
With Dembele’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, Barcelona had been investigating a potential sale with reports in Spain that Manchester United had credited interest in March.
But after Dembélé made 44 appearances for Koeman’s team in the 2020-21 season and scored 11 goals to kick-start his career at the Nou Camp, the Dutchman has given him a lifeline.
It was a marked improvement from the previous season, when he played just nine games and scored just one goal.
Dembele joined from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for a £124m transfer fee and much was expected when he linked him to Lionel Messi.
Health has hindered his progress, but after a much improved season last season, Koeman knows his value and will now have to find solutions to do without him at the start of the season.