How Barcelona could line up with Ousmane Dembele
Barcelona are on the verge of signing Ousmane Dembele, with the 20-year-old set to sign for the Blaugrana in a deal which could cost €150 million.
The Catalan club set their sights on Dembele and Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho after Neymar’s €222m move to Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month and a deal for the Dortmund forward has been agreed.
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Dembele will cost €120m plus €30m in add-ons, making him an expensive addition to the squad at Camp Nou, but Barca were left with little choice in an inflated market and with time running out before the transfer window closes next week.
Dembele is right-footed and has played mostly on the right wing for Dortmund. However, Barcelona like to operate with inverted wingers who can cut in and shoot at goal, so the French forward is likely to feature on the left for the Catalan club.
He could well play on the left side of a 4-2-3-1 formation, which is the preferred system of coach Ernesto Valverde, with Lionel Messi on the right or even in a central role.
Dembele’s arrival gives Valverde good options and the 20-year-old would also be comfortable as a like-for-like Neymar replacement on the left of a trident alongside Luis Suarez and Messi. The MSN is no more, but the MSD is a potentially frightening forward line too.
The youngster can also feature as a central striker, so could operate in that role to give rest to Suarez or even alongside the Uruguay centre-forward in a 4-4-2, while he could potentially play on the right as well, with Messi in a more central role.