Four goals: one against Inter Miami, two against Juventus and another one against New York Red Bulls. That’s Ousmane Dembele‘s record in Barcelona‘s pre-season.
It is not so surprising in terms of the Frenchman’s quality, which is well known, but rather for his consistency and efficiency.
The French winger is silencing those who weren’t convinced that the club should keep him at the Camp Nou.
Just a fortnight ago, his renewal until 2024 was announced, a decision that raised doubts given his past performances, but Dembele is a genius when he wants to be and in the United States he has made it clear that he has come out of his shell.
Xavi’s backing of Dembele
Xavi has always been one of the Frenchman’s greatest supporters and he is convinced that he can be a great asset for Barcelona this season.
Xavi‘s approval was at the heart of the club’s efforts to renew Dembele‘s contract and he is now seeing how this gamble, for now, is paying off.
“He has a lot of confidence and I believe in him a lot, he can make a difference and he does,” Xavi said on tour.
Dembele, just after scoring a brace against Juventus, stressed that this confidence from the group and the coach clearly benefited him.
Dembele‘s form is not just a matter of individual performances as he is integrating perfectly with the rest of his teammates in attack and the first half of the match against the New York Red Bulls is the best evidence yet.
The LDR partnership of Robert Lewandowski, Dembele and Raphinha worked perfectly in the first half.
With two wingers supporting the Pole, a clear reference point in attack, Barcelona‘s forwards moved with fluidity, precision, electricity and punch.
Dembele‘s goal even came after an assist from the Brazilian from the edge of the area.
Dembele’s chemistry with Lewandowski
Although Lewandowski didn’t score, the alliance with Dembele was also clear: the Frenchman set up the number nine on several occasions before half time, although it wasn’t the former Bayern man’s night.
In fact, Barcelona were more incisive in the first half with the LDR formula on the pitch, even if it was in the second period that Memphis Depay shone again to make it 2-0.
Dembele’s talent is clear and the player’s big challenge now is to build up consistency.