Saga: How Ousmane Dembele failed to achieve his dream at Barcelona

Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP) (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele. (Photo by Pau BARRENA / AFP) (Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona
Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona. (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

Why was he unable to perform at Barcelona?

The question of why he was not able to perform for Barca is a bit of a mystery. He was initially brought in as a replacement for Neymar however, whereas the Brazilian scored 20 goals in the 2016/17 season, Dembele only scored 10. The French player did have 20 assists that season for BVB however, Neymar had 30 assists that season for Barca. On top of that, that was one of Neymar’s quieter seasons and he typically scored more than 25-30 goals each season.

That is a huge number for a youngster to achieve and people had way too many expectations from him. In truth, Dembele was never a very good finisher and in his best season at Barca, he could only manage to score 14 goals. On top of that, Dembele was reportedly not taking training seriously and was even fined for arriving late to training. His multiple injuries prevented him from ever reaching his true potential and he was becoming more of a burden for the Catalan kings. However, the main fact is he is not a player like Neymar, and trying to emulate the Brazilian’s style was his ultimate downfall.

What happened during the contract negotiations?

As everyone knows, Barcelona are in a tough spot financially speaking. The club was run into the ground by former president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, who only kept on buying players and did not try to fix the root problem of the club. Barca has been losing its identity for quite a while now and the problems began as early as 2017. Their UCL upsets were one of the main signs that showed us that Barca was falling apart. However, Bartomeu kept buying players and left the club with a 1.2 billion euros loan.

The Catalans have been trying to sell players and lower the wages of current players ever since and they respectfully asked the players to comply since if they don’t, the club could go bankrupt. Bartomeu also gave players insanely high wages and Barca were the club that had the highest payroll in the entirety of European football. It is no longer feasible to give players their old wages and everyone is willing to adjust. Some reports suggest that Dembele currently earns 16 million euros a year however, instead of reducing that, he wants to increase it to 20 million euros plus signing bonuses and a cut for his agent. These demands are absolutely nonsensical and thus the negotiations fell apart.