Scouting Ousmane Dembele: A midfielder too versatile for his own good


Sergey Krivets vs Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele has been experimented in more than one position across the frontline but as he grows older, he will have to pick a specific job and stick to that.

We have witnessed several players fail to reach their full potential after being deprived of consistent playing time in the position which suits their attributes the most.

When you are a jack of all trades and master of none, it can be difficult to make a name for yourself since the ability to produce eye-catching performances requires a level of continuity in where you play.

The likes of Gaizka Mendieta, Ryan Babel and David Bentley are all notable examples of previously promising players who did not manage to live up to the hype largely because of the variety of positions they occupied before it was too late in their career to adapt.

Dembele, since moving to Germany, has displayed more than enough glimpses of his specialties as an attacking midfielder.

The 20-year-old boasts the scarce ability to run right through defenders with his silky left foot in Dybala-like fashion and produce a final ball clever enough to unlock just about any defence, even at the highest level.

However, under the recently departed Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel, Dembele was rotated in different roles last season, mainly due to tight competition from fellow wingers Christian Pulisic, Marco Reus and Mario Gotze.

The French youngster has still been able to deliver some spectacular performances on both flanks and that is a substantial indication of how versatile a player he is.

But Dembele himself would admit that he saves his best shows for when he is playing in a central attacking midfield role.

That is where he was deployed in the 2-2 draw between Dortmund and Real Madrid at Westfalenstadion last term and as many noticed on the night, he was simply unplayable.

Even though he has the pace and stature of a winger, Dembele’s tenacity and habit of picking out key passes proves he is more suited to the number 10 role right behind the striker.

He is a player in a similar mold to David Silva and Mesut Ozil as he tends to drift out wide and affect the game even though he is not necessarily a winger.

Despite Dembele’s versatility as an attacking midfielder, he is clearly attached to one particular role and that is right near the focal point of the frontline.

Continuing to experiment him in different positions could undermine the great things the youngster has to offer as a central midfielder.