After suffering another injury setback to begin his Barcelona career, France International Ousmane Dembele is all set to make his return to the pitch.
Ousmane Dembele is in line to appear in Barcelona’s Champions League last-16 tie against Chelsea as he continues to recover from a hamstring injury he picked up in team’s 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad.
Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele is expected to return to full fitness by next, according to Blaugrana boss Ernesto Valverde. Valverde has confirmed that the Frenchmen can play some part against the reigning Premier League champions if he fully recovers by the time of the tie.
Ousmane Dembele has not managed to make his time at the Camp Nou memorable as a result of back to back injuries he has suffered during his short time at Barcelona. The hamstring injury he picked up in January came less than two weeks after he returned to action following a more serious hamstring tear, which kept him out of action for nearly four months.
Dembele, playing in just his fourth game in the La Liga for the Catalans, came off the bench to replace Paulinho with 25 minutes remaining, and while he finished the match, he also succeeded in picking up another issue, this time keeping him out for a time period of 3-4 weeks.
However, Valverde confirming that he’ll come back soon doesn’t mean that he will play a part in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Valencia on Thursday. However, the Frenchmen could be in line to make his injury comeback against Chelsea in Champions League last-16 tie.
When quizzed about Dembele’s availability for the meeting with Conte’s men, Valverde said: “He’s okay. He’s started training sessions. I hope he can come back into the squad for next week.”
Gerard Pique is another who is likely to miss Thursday’s game at Mestalla after he picked up a knee strain during the derby draw with Espanyol. However, Valverde refused to rule out Pique for the game at Mestalla but admitted that new recruit Yerry Mina could make his debut if Pique is unavailable for the game.
Valverde said: “He finished the game in discomfort, with a little injury, but as of now he’s not ruled out. We’ll see how he is today [Wednesday]. He’s going to train and we’ll see. Yerry is in the squad and ready to play. It depends on the coach’s thinking whether he will start.”
Ernesto Valverde seems confident Ousmane Dembele will be fully fit well before Barcelona meet Chelsea in the Champions League. [AS] pic.twitter.com/rYeQeA5laW
— FC Barcelona (@BarcaUniversal) February 8, 2018
“The fact there are players who can play in different positions is an advantage for him and for the team. We have to decide depending on the situation. I knew Yerry Mina from watching videos and now from him training with us, but I don’t know him in our competition. I hope he adapts well.”
Barcelona will head into the second leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia holding a slender 1-0 advantage, with Luis Suarez’s goal at the Camp Nou being the only difference between both the sides.
I personally feel that Valverde is doing right by not hurrying to bring the player back into the mainstream action. Dembele should rest well before he gets back into the mainstream action. Even though Barcelona has not been affected by the player’s absence, but his presence will be beneficial for the team.