‘No time to ease in Dembele…’

Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde believes there is no time to ease Ousmane Dembele into his starting line-up amid reports he’ll start against Juventus.

The 20-year-old French forward completed his move to the Camp Nou after the Blaugrana’s season got underway and made his debut on Saturday against Espanyol, replacing Gerard Deulofeu in the second half.

“Will Dembele start? We will see tomorrow but if I put him in it is because he is ready,” Valverde told reporters ahead of the match.

“He is performing well in training and integrating with the side but playing in matches with teammates is what is really crucial.

“If he had arrived earlier in the summer transfer window there would have been more time span to integrate but we are in this position and must handle it.

 “The Champions League is important for everyone at the club, our aim is to progress and be in a position to win the competition.

“We are doing well, we won 5-0 at the weekend but the opposition (Juve, three wins from three) are in a similar position and to get off to a strong start is important.

“I am aware of my responsibility. Barcelona have been champions several times in recent seasons, I was aware of this when I came – it’s a high standard.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde Ousmane Dembele
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