As most of you reading this will be aware, I’ve been one of Ousmane Dembele’s fiercest critics in the past.
Even in the recent past I’ve been known to take the odd pot-shot at the French World Cup winner.
Perhaps that’s more to do with my own frustrations at a player that clearly has it all but hasn’t performed to the level he’s truly capable of on a regular enough basis.
Let’s be honest, he does possess something that no one else in the Barca squad does, and when he’s 100 percent fit and in full flight, he is a joy to watch.
If he can just steer clear of injuries for a sustained period and execute his final ball more often than he has, frankly he can save the club a pretty penny in transfer fees as there’ll be no need to look for a player with exactly the credentials he has.
Xavi clearly rates him and potentially persuading him to stay – reportedly at a lower salary than he would receive elsewhere – can’t be understated.
Footballers need confidence to give their best and it’s obvious that the coach has given Dembele exactly that.