Why Liverpool should avoid a loan move for Ousmane Dembele
Reports from Sport (h/t Metro) suggest that Liverpool have started talks with Barcelona over a loan deal for Ousmane Dembele. Klopp is keen to add to his forward options and create some competition for the likes of Mane and Salah.
Ousmane Dembele is a 23-year-old French winger who plays for FC Barcelona. The lanky winger started his youth career at Madeleine Evreux in 2004 and moved to Rennes’ youth team in 2010.
He spent 5 years in the youth teams and made his first start for Rennes II in 2014. Finally, in 2015, he broke into the first-team at Stade Rennais. He made 29 appearances that season, scored 12 goals, and made 5 assists (source – Transfermarkt).
Borussia Dortmund signed him in 2016 and he exploded onto the scene. His pace, trickery and ambipedal nature were there for everyone to see. He played 50 games for the German outfit that season and contributed to 32 goals (10 goals + 22 assists).
The following season, he forced a move to Barcelona for a gargantuan transfer fee. It has not gone to plan since then. Injuries have plagued him and that has restricted him to just 74 appearances in three seasons. He has missed a total of 80 games for the club in that duration (source – Transfermarkt).
Dembele has featured 21 times for his country and won the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Could Dembele be useful to Liverpool?
Liverpool have one of the best forward lines in Europe and yes, they do lack depth there. They have found it hard to find good players who would want to take a backup role. Now, however, they have signed Diogo Jota.
This gives them good cover, especially with Takumi Minamino waiting to take his chances. Dembele is talented and versatile, no doubt. He could well be a fine addition to any side but there’s a huge question mark regarding his fitness and injury history.
He has had three long-term injuries in the last three seasons. It just doesn’t seem like he can stay fit for very long.
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Dembele’s injury-prone nature is the biggest concern. The Premier League is known for its no-nonsense tackling. It is hard to see Dembele not getting injured by one of those crunching slide tackles. For now, Liverpool should avoid a deal for Dembele, even if it is on a temporary basis.