After a shaky start, the PSG winger has become an indispensable piece for Luis Enrique. He is the Ligue 1’s leading assist-provider.
Ousmane Dembélé has found his footing in Paris. The 26-year-old French winger has regained his form after a somewhat difficult start in which his numbers did not match his constant dribbling. He is now the Ligue 1’s leading assist-provider with six assists, and his partnership with Kylian Mbappé is one of Luis Enrique’s main weapons this season.
In the summer, Paris Saint-Germain triggered his release clause of €50 million in their search for a player with dribbling and verticality who could offset the absences of Messi and Neymar. After a first match in which he was not called up, against Lorient, which ended in a 0-0 draw, the Rennes academy graduate made his first appearance in the second round, in Toulouse, coming on the field alongside Kylian Mbappé, who had been ruled out at the time and had celebrated his signing with joy on social media. Since then, Luis Enrique has given him full confidence, and he has established himself as one of the leaders of the Parisian attack.
In total, Dembélé has played 22 matches for PSG, starting in 22 and only being on the bench three times, one of which was the aforementioned one against Toulouse, which was circumstantial. These numbers show his importance to the Asturian coach and to the current Ligue 1 leaders. Last Saturday, against Lens, in a difficult match, the former Barcelona player provided the assist for Mbappé’s 0-2 goal, after an extraordinary counterattack that put the final nail in the coffin of the team that is still the runner-up of last season’s French League, becoming the league’s leading assist-provider with six assists, in addition to having one goal to his name.
“I’m delighted with him. He is undoubtedly the most disruptive player in the world. It’s a pleasure to have him, with that personality to create superiority, to fix players… It’s a show, a spectacle. I love having players of that profile on the team,” said Luis Enrique, who has defended him on numerous occasions even in the moments when Dembélé was not taking off. The PSG coach also pointed out that he always wanted to sign him during his time at Barcelona, which is why it is no coincidence that he gives him so much importance.
Dembélé, despite the fact that he has not yet made his debut in the Champions League, neither in terms of scoring nor in terms of assists, has always been a starter in his recent teams. Klopp, Xavi, Deschamps on the national team and now Luis Enrique all agree that he is a decisive player, capable of playing on both sides and with a verticality that unsettles opponents. This is what has finally settled him in PSG, with whom he will, along with Mbappé, lead the team in the Champions League tie against Real Sociedad on February 14.
Dembélé’s transformation in Paris has been remarkable. He has gone from being a talented but inconsistent player to a key member of one of the best teams in the world. His dribbling, speed, and passing ability make him a nightmare for defenders, and he is now one of the most dangerous players in the Champions League.