2022 World Cup qualifying: Ousmane Dembélé, the comeback opportunist

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembélé is one of the ghosts of Didier Deschamps’ selection to face Ukraine (Wednesday March 24), Kazakhstan (Sunday March 28) and Bosnia-Herzegovina (Wednesday March 31) during qualifying for the 2022 World Cup. in the France team, which falls right on target for the Euro next summer.

He has not played with the Blues for more than two years. But a few convincing weeks with Barça were enough for Ousmane Dembélé to remember the good memories of Didier Deschamps. The striker was one of the 23 world champions in Russia, before chaining injuries and setbacks since his arrival in Catalonia. In both physical form and in the game, the Blaugrana is replacing at the best time in the race for the Euro.

Over time, we ended up wary of the winger’s improvements. Ousmane Dembélé’s talent has never been questioned. His involvement, his seriousness, but especially his chronic inability to stay away from the infirmary had ended up making him retreat little by little in the hierarchy of the France team. Not essential, but also too talented to be completely forgotten, the former Rennais was a special case. He still had the challenge – so great in his case – to find the consistency and health that had been so lacking for ages. Those that Didier Deschamps admits without difficulty having waited and hoped for.

Ousmane Dembélé has regained his athletic abilities, the level he had, explained the coach of the Tricolores. Going through matches has always helped. He had to mature, and be spared injury. But what he does today, he already did a few years ago. That’s why he was there in the band in 2018. “

Of the 23 world champions, few have seemed so far from Clairefontaine among those still in the selection. But Dembélé hung on and seized the opportunities that presented themselves. With a new coach (Ronald Koeman) and an attack in the works, the player who is still only 23 years old was able to regain playing time a few months after being close to the exit during the last offseason. And the Catalan number 11 was quick to speak of the flash vivacity of his dribbling like his back stroke on the side of the FC Barcelona attack. Dembélé started nine of the twelve matches played by Barça in 2021 and delivered some high-level performances as at Betis Seville or in Bilbao in the league.

His eight goals and four assists in all competitions have added a little more weight to his candidacy for the Euro next summer, in a position where certainties are lacking behind Kylian Mbappé. The results are flattering and let imagine that Ousmane Dembélé has reconnected with the unstitched thread of his career. “Has he wasted too much time? Difficult to answer. But Rennes, Dortmund, then Barça, we can not say that he is not having a high-level career“, recalled Didier Deschamps.

A sequence of three matches in seven days, the last gathering before the list for the Euro in May… the timing is ideal for Ousmane Dembélé. The busy schedule (not to mention travel) will force Didier Deschamps to tap into his group to form his eleven. “Many players will be affected by the three matches“, he agrees. After Catalonia, Dembélé could also become a prophet again in his country in 2021. His ticket for a busy summer will be played out in less than two weeks. He only has to hold on until then. -the.

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