Now that it’s confirmed that Dembélé will be out for 6 months, it’s a good time to talk about his future. What should we do with him?

Yesterday Ousmane underwent a successful surgery in Finland for a ruptured tendon in his proximal hamstring in his right thigh. He was operated by the same medical team that was in charge of his surgery 2 and a half years ago. Dembélé had only got injured twice before arriving to the Camp Nou in 2017, but he has suffered 9 injuries since, 7 of these being muscular and most in his left thigh. He has played 74 games for Barça, while he has missed 65. He will be out for at least 17 more matches.

So, if tearing the hamstring of his left leg has already influenced his fitness and playtime ever since, I can’t imagine what will happen now that he has severely damaged his hamstring again, but in his right leg. Dr. Lasse Lempainen, who performed the surgery on Tuesday, said that «this injury is bigger and more demanding than the one he suffered in 2017». If by then he missed 3 and a half months, now he’ll be out for 6.

Dr. Lempainen is an expert in the matter and yesterday he operated Hiroki Abe too, who will be out for 5 months. Regarding Dembélé, the surgeon stated that «when the damage is great, the injury tends to be recurring». Also, he expressed that «the player is very fast and, if he sprints a lot, the hamstrings get stressed». The 22-year-old is explosive and aggressive in his movements and, on top of that, he’s very fragile.

His first big injury against Getafe was caused by a technical gesture – a backheel pass –, while the last one occurred while training. He doesn’t need to do much to get injured, even if in November Barcelona took him to Doha’s Aspetar Hospital, described as «the NASA of high-performance sports». Now what’s most worrying is not only his return to fitness, but his mental recovery. The problem is that selling him this summer won’t be easy, as he may even miss the start of the 20/21 term. A move back to France (even Rennes) could be beneficial to gain confidence and continuity. But that won’t be simple either. What we need now is to lower our expectations and make him feel no pressure. Complex situation.

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