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France coach heaps praise on Barcelona attacker: “More mature, more developed”

The injury of Karim Benzema just before the World Cup has enabled Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele to earn an elevated status in the French national team.

The former Borussia Dortmund winger had started France’s opening game against Australia, starring in the 4-1 victory. He played a key role in the final third with his speed and ability to drift past defenders. It made him a crucial creative outlet out wide, often driving in crosses for Olivier Giroud.

Dembele’s return to the French national team serves as an ideal reward for a player who has completely turned his fortunes around since the turn of the year.

In light of his return to prominence, French national team manager Didier Deschamps has heaped praise on the Barcelona forward, labelling him as an improved player.

“He has had several injuries in recent years, but now he is an important player. The day-to-day demands at Barça have also made him better. We see him as a better player, more mature and more developed,” he said (h/t Barça Buzz).

Deschamps’ words will certainly encourage Dembele, who is currently one of the most crucial attacking players for Barcelona, having already racked up five goals and eight assists in all competitions this season.

One would expect him to replicate those performances in the World Cup. The player most notably secured an assist in the 4-1 win over Australia, but he will face a much more challenging task when France take on Denmark tomorrow evening.

A win for Les Bleus could help move one step closer to securing a place in the knockout rounds. Dembele, for his part, must also perform well, knowing there is stiff competition from other talented attacking players in the French squad including Kingsley Coman and Marcus Thuram.

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