Connect in the back of the net

Barcelona have been linked with a whole host of players this summer with the club believed to be set to make a big push to sign Marco Verratti.

The Italian will not be allowed to leave Paris Saint-Germain however and it is likely Los Cules will have to turn their attentions elsewhere to rectify their issues in midfield.

Whilst not in the same position the club have also been linked with a vastly expensive move for Borussia Dortmund sensation Ousmane Dembele.

 

Breakout season

Dembele arrived in Germany last summer after an exciting breakout season with Stade Rennais and he has carried this form over to both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

Barcelona are said to be interested in signing the 20-year-old but will have to pay a fee believed to be around £79 million if they are to prise him away from the German giants.

Now this seems excessively expensive especially when you consider the fact Barcelona already boast a forward line consisting of Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi yet Dembele is supremely talented and is sure a bet to succeed as any other attacking signing the club could make.

Dembele’s recent display in an international friendly against England was the crowning performance of his season to a wider audience than normal. He was a constant handful on the ball and caused England’s defence problems all evening long.

There was one particular instance when the Frenchman knocked the ball down the right touchline and left Kyle Walker behind with consummate ease, Walker of course being one of the Premier League’s quickest players.

 

Barca in need of more dynamism

Barcelona have lost a little of their dynamism of late and a lot of expectation has been placed on Messi’s shoulders to singlehandedly lift them out of trouble. This isn’t sustainable and the Argentine has already made it clear to those in power at the club that the team needs strengthening.

In signing Dembele, they would be getting a player who could contribute right away but in addition to that they would be getting a forward who is likely to be a future Ballon d’Or winner. He is that talented.

It is easy to see the £79 million they would have to spend in the current market turn into £100 million and beyond in a few years should the club ever wish to sell him. Ousmane Dembele would be a smart investment for any top club this summer.

 

Supremely talented

One of the issues Barcelona have had in recent years has been recruitment.

Players have been signed who simply aren’t good enough for the club and this is why we see such a drop in quality and productivity in matches where Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez and Arda Turan start.

The former Stade Rennais star would be a supremely talented option for Ernesto Valverde to have at his disposal and given the presence of the big three forwards it would be incredibly simple to ease the youngster into life at one of the world’s biggest clubs without placing too much pressure on his shoulders.

Six goals and 12 assists is a fantastic return for a debut season in the Bundesliga and in truth it would be best for the player himself to remain with Dortmund and continue to develop his game in a less pressurized environment that Barcelona.

After being brought in to replace Henrikh Mkhitaryan last summer the Frenchman is now likely going to be tasked with carrying the team should he stay.

This would be a great experience for him, but Barcelona will never get another opportunity to sign him for this price again. His situation is a little reminiscent of Paul Pogba’s at Juventus when he was clearly a high quality midfielder on his way to becoming the very best in the world.

Every single summer at Juventus his value would rise incrementally from £40 million then to £55 million and then to £75 million and before you knew it Manchester United had parted with a world record £90 million fee to bring him to Old Trafford.

 

Wise addition

Only injuries can derail Dembele’s progress, otherwise his value will continue to rise in such a manner as his performances continue at such a high level and the Catalan giants would be wise to be ahead of the curve and bring him in this summer.

Messi will not go on forever and Luis Suarez is certainly heading into the final few years of his career.

There is a concern amongst supporters that Barcelona’s poor recruitment strategy combined with a systematic neglect of the La Masia academy system is setting the club up for an almighty fall from grace in the coming years.

Neymar may be looking across the dressing room and thinking that in a couple of seasons it could well be just him to lead the team.

Dembele’s arrival would prevent such a scenario and it is something those in power at the Camp Nou need to seriously consider before another team beats them to his signature down the line.

 

Written by Chris Winterburn

Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4

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