FC Barcelona advised to retain France star Ousmane Dembele over pursuit of Neymar despite indiscipline
Posted: 13 December 2018 Time: 10:57
FC Barcelona have been warned to rethink the idea of letting Ousmane Dembele leave in favour of a Neymar return, despite the recent off the field issues with the France international.
Dembele, 21, arrived last year as a replacement for Neymar, who joined PSG in a world-record €222million deal but has been subject of criticism due to his time-keeping of late.
Injuries have also played it's part if his lack of development during his debut season, but the former Borussia Dortmund man received the backing of club captain Leo Messi.
His latest misdemeanour reportedly came last week reportedly saw him slapped with a €200 000 (R3.2 million) fine.
But amidst all unprofessionalism, Dembele has still impressed on the field of play, scoring in each of his two most recent outings against Espanyol and Tottenham.
Neymar has been strongly linked in recent months with a return to Camp Nou, leading to speculation about Dembele's future, but France legend Robert Pires is convinced Barca are better off with his compatriot.
"I love him [Dembele] very much," he told Mundo Deportivo. "We always talk about [Lionel] Messi, but this guy is very good.
"He's young but what he does we all did as kids. What you must do is self-impose discipline in your life, but he is young and with his quality and talent, he can help Barca to win the Champions League and also the league, as we have seen against Tottenham and Espanyol with great goals.
"If I had to choose, I would not change Dembele for Neymar. Ousmane is 21, plays with the left and the right [foot] with a lot of quality with the ball. He has a lot of potential, more than what we've seen so far."