Barcelona’s young French star Ousmane Dembele faces a potentially make-or-break season in 2019/20.
The former Rennes and Borussia Dortmund winger has found himself playing second fiddle to stars such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez since his arrival at the Catalan club in August 2017.
In his first LaLiga season (2017/18), Dembele scored three goals and provided six assists from 17 appearances (12 starts).
Last season, the French international was hampered by injury for parts of the campaign. He played 29 times for Barcelona, making 20 starts in 2018/19, scoring eight goals and laying on five assists. Continue reading →
Suggesting that Liverpool have a problem with their forwards is a little disingenuous given they don’t. Liverpool’s forward three is among the best in Europe. Roberto Firmino is the best false nine around, and Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah are both world-class wingers.
Their respective goal tallies over the last two years stand as a testament to that. Even when Salah is supposed to be having a bad season, as some will tell you this year was, he still finished as the joint top scorer in the Premier League.
Every club in world football would take these three players without a moment’s hesitation. That includes all of the ‘elite’ sides and every single one of Liverpool’s rivals. Indeed, Real Madrid have been linked with both Mane and Salah this summer. Continue reading →
As we hurtle towards the end of another gruelling La Liga campaign, Barcelona will already be looking towards a successful 2019/20 season, and to that end Eric Abidal will need to do some wheeler-dealing in the transfer market.
With Matthijs De Ligt just one name being mentioned as a possible new signing, it’s clear that the Catalans will have plenty to do across the summer.
The futures of most of their players remain crystal clear, but there are question marks too. Continue reading →
There was a time, not so long ago, when Barcelona’s demanding fanbase couldn’t have cared less if Ousmane Dembele was sold or not.
Incessant newspaper headlines relating to poor timekeeping, a lackadaisical attitude and little effort being shown in training or in matches, meant that if his Barca career wasn’t hanging by a thread, then it wasn’t too far off.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will be looking to reach into his first team squad as they prepare to defend in their La Liga title in the closing weeks of the season.
Barring a significant decline in form, the former Athletic Bilbao boss will oversee a second successive league title in charge at the Nou Camp, with a Champions League quarter final clash with Manchester United also to come.
However he will need to balance his squad in the coming weeks, with injuries playing a role, and the need to preserve some of his star players for European competition.
There was a 50 percent chance of it happening, and once Valencia and Real Betis had been drawn out of the Copa del Rey hat, it meant that, yes, we were going to see a two-legged El Clasico semi-final.
Moreover, the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu precedes a league match between the two teams at the same venue just 72 hours later.
It’s the first time in Barcelona’s history that they will have played two consecutive games at the Bernabeu, and given their recent record there, the Blaugrana will be entirely confident of continuing their run of victories. Continue reading →