Diario AS: Dembele's success on the pitch is 'direct result' of his off the pitch adaptation
Diario AS insider in Barcelona dressing room claim that the Frenchman has finally adjusted to Barcelona ways, hence his good form this season, writes Moises Llorens
Ousmane Dembele continues enjoying the best start of the season in his whole career. The talented winger has already netted five goals in all competition, broke several records and scored three crucial winners one of which has even earned the Catalans the precious Spanish Supercopa trophy. Calm, confident and with a guarantee from Ernest Valverde that he is a permanent part of his plan, the French attacker looks like another player this season. And he is only 21!
“He’s doing very well, but he can be better,” a source inside the Barcelona dressing room has told Diario AS. “We’ll have to wait another season for him to assimilate all that we have asked of him.”
A player reborn?
Dembele's renewed confidence is to an extent due to Robert Fernandez and Eric Abidal, who reassured him that the club “wasn’t going to sell him”, despite all the rumours circulating in the Catalan press.
The club has also stepped up the level of attention given to the Frenchman on a daily basis, AS note. Dembele lives alone and without his parents in Barcelona. And the young footballer finally accepted that he needed an assistant at home to do housework and to control his everyday diet, especially when it comes to his beloved soft drinks (the club’s nutritionists recommened him to replace soft drinks with isotonic drinks for better recovery process).
All of these factors, along with the World Cup triumph influenced his improved performance this season. “Being called up [for France] for the World Cup was a breath of fresh air. Then winning it and feeling important within that group has boosted his happiness massively,” reported AS' dressing room source.
“He understands more of what Valverde wants, but it’s too early to claim victory; there are still things that he finds difficult. The issue of tracking back when the ball is lost or the attack breaks down: that is where he must take responsibility and he’s doing so little by little.”