Newly appointed Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez is backing Ousmane Dembélé to succeed following his arrival at the Nou Camp.
The 24-year-old winger joined the Catalan club side from Dortmund for a fee of €105 million, becoming at the time the joint-second most expensive footballer ever alongside compatriot Paul Pogba. But injuries have hampered his career so far, and it has been no different this season.
Xavi believes in the potential of the Frenchman and wants to get down to work to mold him, and turn him into the player he aimed to be.
“Dembélé, in good form, can be the best player in the world in his position. He has the qualities to make the difference at Barça and become a world star.” Xavi said.
The former Rennes winger suffered a serious knee injury during the summer while playing for France at the Euro 2020. He returned last week, but suffered another setback in Barcelona’s Champions League defeat against Dynamo Kyiv.
With Dembele’s contract coming to an end next summer, Xavi is making a new contract for him one of his top priorities.
“His renewal is a priority for me. But you have to work with him and demand it. It depends on him, on his mentality, that he is free from injury, that he has high performance levels.”
Barca currently sits ninth in the La Liga table, 11 points adrift of leaders Real Sociedad.
Xavi will be in charge of the team in the Catalan derby against Espanyol at Camp Nou. Three days later they host Benfica in the Champions League, knowing that a win will secure their place in the knockout stages of the competition.