Dembele highlights Messi’s role as honest interview suggests penny has dropped

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele has singled Lionel Messi out for praise as he continues his revival in Ronald Koeman’s side.

The Frenchman has struggled to settle in since arriving from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 for an eye-watering fee rising to £135.5million.

Injury setbacks have certainly played their part in slowing the progress being made by Dembele, but he has also come under scrutiny for other reasons such as being late for training and staying up too late.

But the 23-year-old has now hit back at those claims, having turned a corner in recent weeks.

“You can’t play for Barcelona for four years without a healthy lifestyle,” he he told beIN Sports.

Dembele has played his part in keeping alive Barcelona’s title hopes in La Liga

“Now I’m playing well, in the dressing room they call me Eto’o, Messi helps me a lot.

“I’m happy at Barcelona, we’ll see what happens in the future.”

Dembele was limited to only nine appearances in all competitions last term as he endured a frustrating campaign on the sidelines, but the exciting forward has responded well to his hamstring injury this season.

The World Cup winner has featured 40 times for Barcelona in 2020/21, scoring ten goals as well as registering four assists.

Dembele is beginning to prove his worth at Barcelona
Dembele is beginning to prove his worth at Barcelona

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Koeman’s side have already captured the Copa del Rey and remain in the race for the La Liga title with only four matches remaining.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have both collected 74 points and trail leaders Atletico Madrid by two points, in what’s set to be a dramatic ending to the campaign.

This weekend’s fixtures in La Liga look set to define who will come out on top as Barcelona host Atletico while Real Madrid entertain fourth-placed Sevilla.

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