Six months ago Ousmane Dembele was pretty much surplus to requirements in the minds of Barcelona and Ronald Koeman. Now, however, the Frenchman has put together his best run in blaugrana, and the Catalans’ priority lies in renewing his contract.
Dembele has become a fundamental part of Koeman’s 3-5-2 setup, a system that enables him to take advantage of open lanes with his incredible speed. He was offered a renewal back in October with the desire to strengthen Barcelona’s position in the transfer market regarding a potential sale, but now the idea is to retain his services so he can be a key part of the team’s future.
Still just 24, Dembele seems to have developed a greater robustness and been able to withstand the injuries that have plagued his Barcelona career, earning himself a return to the French national team after a two year absence. He marked his return with a goal, too, scoring France’s first in a 2-0 away defeat of Kazakhstan on Sunday afternoon in a World Cup qualifier.