Ousmane Dembele’s future points towards the English Premier League
Unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension with Barcelona, Ousmane Dembele was set to have his pick on a new team come the end of the season.
While the Catalan side was hopeful in reaching an agreement, the reality was they were never going to be able to match what Paris Saint-Germain or Chelsea could offer.
It appears that the French forward has settled on a new team and a new league.
According to talkSport, Chelsea are considered the favorites to land Dembele who would arrive on a free transfer and sign a four-year deal. He would become the first signing under the new ownership.
If and when a deal is reached, the final remnant of the Neymar saga would be gone. Since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2017, Dembele’s time with Barcelona has been mired with injuries. This past season was his best as he managed to stay relatively fit and showed what he is capable of. Dembele managed to lead LaLiga with 13 assists despite playing in fewer games than Karim Benzema who finished second with 12.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez expressed his desire for the Frenchman to stay but his agent was demanding too much in wages, bonuses and commissions. Given Barcelona’s financial shape, it’s no surprise they were unwilling to come close on those terms.
As to what this means for Chelsea, they needed to make a splash in the transfer market and Dembele fits the bill. When healthy, he can be one of the most dynamic players in the field albeit frustrating at times. Chelsea could also do with more options upfront given the disappointing performances from the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic.
The concern with Dembele hinges on whether he can stay fit or not. The Premier League is a much more physical one than LaLiga therefore his signing represents a gamble. By the looks of it, it’s a gamble Chelsea are willing to make.
Having worked with Thomas Tuchel at Dortmund was surely a drawing point for Dembele. In the end, there were only going to be a handful of teams who could offer what Dembele and his representatives wanted. On this occasion, it appears Chelsea beat out the likes of PSG.