By 90Min
July 29, 2018

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has told reporters that Ousmane Dembélé remains an important part of his squad for the upcoming season, having been linked with a move elsewhere this summer.

Dembélé joined Barcelona from French club Rennes in a £135.5m deal last summer, but the 21-year-old endured a difficult first season with the Catalan giants and reports have suggested that he is already open to a move away from the Nou Camp.

The Frenchman made 23 appearances for Barcelona last season, scoring just four goals and only having a bit-part role in France's World Cup victory in Russia over the summer. Despite this, he has still collected La Liga, Copa del Rey and World Cup winners' medals over the past twelve months.

JEWEL SAMAD/GettyImages

Barcelona have now signed Bordaux winger Malcom, who plays in the same position as Dembélé, which could be a cause for concern in the Frenchman's mind. However, Ernesto Valverde insists that competition for places his important in his squad ahead of the hectic season which is fast approaching.

"Let’s hope it’s his season," Valverde said of Dembélé, via the Metro


"He is an extraordinary player. The past year has been complicated because of the injuries, but even so he has brought us a lot.

Chris Brunskill Ltd/GettyImages

"The important thing is that there is competition within the team. There are a lot of matches and we can not handle them with only eleven players."

Barcelona face Roma and AC Milan in their remaining pre-season outings, before the first leg of the Supercopa de España clash with Sevilla on August 12.

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