Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted that Liverpool target Ousmane Dembele will be even better next season after a tough start to his career at the Nou Camp.
The La Liga champions signed the French forward from Borussia Dortmund at the start of last season after Neymar left to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Dembele was bought for a fee of £135.5million but struggled with injury and only scored 4 goals for the La Liga side in all competitions.
However, Bartomeu believes that the first season for players at Barca is always difficult and that we could see Dembele at a higher level next season.
The president was quoted by the Metro and even gave the example of Philippe Coutinho joining Barca from Liverpool in the winter window.
“They are very important players and we expect a lot from them. Coutinho probably in the last four months has been very active for the team.
“But Dembele is a very young player, a very talented player that we are, of course, expecting a lot from. He’s been demonstrating during the season that he’s a good young player for us.
“But, of course, next season will be different. It’s not easy to play in Barcelona the first year because the model of football is quite different from the rest.
“But after one year I’m sure we are going to see Dembele and Coutinho at a very high level.”
The Frenchman did have a major impact in the recent 3-1 win over Italy where he scored a goal and was even adjudged the man-of-the-match.
This might come as a big blow to the Reds who are looking to add more firepower to the side ahead of another big campaign where we look to win trophies under the manager.
Barcelona might not be willing to sell their big investment anytime soon and that would mean we have to either pay a huge price for the French forward or think about signing some other players.
Newcastle United interested in signing highly-rated 21-year-old Liverpool starlet
Newcastle United are interested in Dominic Solanke, according to the Newcastle Chronicle (h/t Liverpool Echo). The report claims that the club is also looking at another Liverpool striker, Divock Origi.
The club already have a couple of players on loan from English sides, Salomon Rondon and Kenedy, and would not be allowed to make another loan move in the January window.
Solanke has struggled for game time this season and hasn’t played a single minute of football for the senior side. The 21-year-old did score a goal for the Reds in the Premier League last season and made 21 appearances in the competition.
However, only five of those were starts and the youngster hasn’t featured in any of the cup games this season either. Minutes on the pitch will be tough for the Englishman as Liverpool prefer Roberto Firmino to lead the attack.
Daniel Sturridge has seen a revival in his Anfield career this season and has four goals to his name in all competitions.
Solanke does need time on the pitch to get better and it will be interesting to see if we are willing to let him leave in the winter window or not.
Liverpool injury update: Reds confirm that star attacker has undergone a successful surgery
The Senegalese star’s surgery was supervised by our medics and was successful. The report adds that Mane’s recovery will be monitored in the coming days ahead of our clash against Huddersfield on Saturday.
The 26-year-old is on a bit of a goal drought as he hasn’t scored for club or country since September 1. Mane’s last goal came in the 2-1 win over Leicester and the 26-year-old doesn’t even have an assist to his name since scoring that goal against the Foxes.
Liverpool need their top stars to be firing but have a number of injury concerns ahead of the Huddersfield clash. Virgil van Dijk, Naby Keita, Mohamed Salah and James Milner all have issues that the club have to keep an eye on but we could see a couple of them start against the Terriers.
The Reds haven’t won a game since their 3-0 triumph over Southampton on 22nd September, but we should start as favourites against a win-less Huddersfield.
It will be interesting to see what Jurgen Klopp does with his team. We don’t have tough fixtures until te game against Arsenal November 3, and this is the ideal time for the manager to rotate the squad.
Mane is an important player for the team but he should only play when he is 100% fit.
Barcelona interested in January swoop for 29-year-old Liverpool star
The Croatian has a couple of starts for the Reds this season, with one coming in the 0-0 draw against Manchester City last week.
The 29-year-old has seen his spot in the starting XI taken up by Joe Gomez. Liverpool seem to prefer a centre-back pairing of Gomez and Virgil van Dijk, and that has seen us concede just three goals in eight Premier League games.
The La Liga champions are facing a bit of a crisis at the back, as per the report. Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen are out for a while and that only leaves Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet as the fit central defenders in the team.
Barcelona haven’t looked invincible this season and have conceded nine goals in eight games. They sit second in the league behind Sevilla and have won just four of their opening eight games in the competition.
Lovren, for his part, recently came back from an injury he picked up during the World Cup. The Croatian looked in decent touch against Manchester City and selling him in January would be a big risk taken by the Reds.
Liverpool only have Joel Matip as their other senior central defender and we need to keep the Croatian at the club until the end of the season just in case there’s an injury crisis.
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