Ousmane Dembele’s Barcelona Return Did Not Go to Plan Admits Manager Ernesto Valverde

?Ousmane Dembele made his return to the pitch on Sunday, after a month out with a hamstring injury. 

The French forward came off the bench in the 60th minute of ?Barcelona’s match with Getafe at Camp Nou, but failed to have a positive impact on the game, according to ?Calcio?Mercato.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde introduced the 20-year-old, along with Andres Iniesta, in search of a goal after his side had failed to land a shot on target in the first half of the game, which finished in a ?goalless draw. 

Valverde admitted that Dembele did not have the desired effect, as the young forward struggled to have any real influence on the game as he battled with trying to get past his man. 

“Dembele came on at a moment when we thought he could help us out by running at players in one-on-one situations.

Barcelona v Levante - La Liga

“Maybe you could tell that he’s not played a lot of football recently, though, because it didn’t go quite as well as he would have liked against a strong opponent,” said Valverde after the match, as reported by CalcioMercato. 

Barcelona’s £96.8million summer signing has struggled with injury since his move to Spain, missing four months earlier in the season with a ruptured tendon. This has resulted in the French international having limited game time at Camp Nou. 

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Valverde was looking for someone to drive at the opposition, when he introduced Dembele with 30 minutes to go on Sunday. But with some lengthy spells on the sidelines recently, the former Borussia Dortmund star may need some minutes under his belt to get back to his best.

“He had to try and use his strengths, which is when he’s up against players and driving at them. He didn’t have much luck with that today, but it’s better that he tried those things than to not try anything,” said the Barcelona coach.

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