Liverpool have been linked regularly with Ousmane Dembele for much of the past year as his Barcelona adventure has gone from struggling to settle to supposedly on the outs with half the management, and today’s news out of Spain will only encourage such talk.
Over the weekend, Dembele was left out of the squad as Barcelona faced off against—and lost 4-3 to—Real Betis. At the time, the press said it was a punishment for the player having missed training with an illness he didn’t tell the club about until after the fact.
“All the players have to give more,” was director Guillermo Amor’s response when pressed on the Dembele issue following Barcelona’s shock defeat. “They have to live the profession and work hard every day to play. At Barcelona, you have to prove yourself every day.
“It takes a lot to play for Barcelona, a lot. There are a lot of good players. You have to play where you’re told, the minutes you’re given, and when you’re not playing you have to be patient and wait for your chance. You have to be ready when it comes.”
There are a lot of good players and if they don’t prove day in and day out that they deserve minutes, they—like Dembele, presumably—won’t get them just because they cost the club an awful lot of money 18 months back. Not exactly a ringing endorsement.
And regardless of whether Dembele ever ends up at Liverpool—or if Liverpool are even interested in the player at all—it increasingly seems to be another case of a player making a move before he was ready and dealing his career a heavy blow in doing so.