Ousmane Dembélé, “hooks-hooks” to efficiency at PSG?

After a somewhat complicated start to the season, the Paris Saint-Germain winger seems to have found his feet, to the point of becoming a key element of the club.


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Paris Saint-Germain striker Ousmane Dembélé, during the match against Lens on August 26, 2023. (MATTHIEU MIRVILLE / AFP)

Since the start of the season, Ousmane Dembélé has often rhymed with unfinished business. Dazzling accelerations, dizzying dribbles, but no goals, and few assists. Only two after eight days of Ligue 1. And then, the native of Evreux has finally adjusted the sights. Firstly in the Blues with a goal coming off the bench against Gibraltar. Hook, hook, dry hit close to the post for the tenth goal of the match, synonymous with the 10-0 record from 1995 against Azerbaijan equaled.

A week later, he did it again with Paris Saint-Germain, this time, a goal.100% Dembélé“, as his coach, Luis Enrique, pointed out: pigeon-wing control to take him away, a dry strike under the right bar. And “Dembouz” finally freed from a weight. A goal which concludes a sequence where the Frenchman remained on three assists in three matches with the capital club.

The most “unbalancing player in the world”

I wanted to recruit him when he was at Rennes, but he didn’t want to come to Barça because there were a lot of competition”, remembers his coach Luis Enrique, who has eyes of love for his winger despite shortcomings in the last gesture. “He’s a different, unique player. He always asks for the ball, he is never afraid to do things, he accepts criticism. It’s a chance to have a player like him. He is different from Barça because here he does not only play on the side but also in the center. He generates so much for the team that assists or goals don’t matter.” And added: “In my opinion, vs“He’s the most unbalanced player in the world, there’s no doubt about it.”

Jacques Bayle was the former assistant to Rolland Courbis in Rennes when Ousmane Dembélé exploded in the eyes of the general public, it was in 2016. “Julien Stéphan spoke highly of us when he was with the reserve. We went to see him and quickly understood that he was going to be essential to our team“, remembers for Franceinfo the man who is now a consultant for local radio Maritima Info.

“He’s an artist, you shouldn’t give him instructions. He can single-handedly change the course of a match. As long as he’s happy, Ousmane will succeed. When you’re having fun, it’s is the kingdom of Ousmane Dembélé.”

Jacques Bayle

at franceinfo

And just like Luis Enrique, what does it matter if the finishing is not there all the time. “He takes risks. If it’s to pass and give the ball back, it’s useless. Ousmane will try to create something, will take risks.” explains Bayle. “It’s confusing, we don’t know if he’s going to dribble with his right foot or his left foot. Ousmane makes us jump in the air, you just have to see his goal against Monaco. On the other hand, we must accept that there will be failures.

As confusing on the pitch as it is endearing off it

An Ousmane Dembélé as confusing on the pitch as he is endearing off it. “Beyond the player, he is above all a great person”, points out his teammate, the Portuguese Vitinha, during the pre-match press briefing. “You can laugh with him and you can count on him off the field. I have no words for the player he is, he is too technical and he constantly throws opponents off balance. He’s a very important player for our team.”

To be the real key to PSG and particularly against Newcastle in the Champions League, a competition where its statistical lines are desperately empty, Ousmane Dembélé will have to rhyme with efficiency.

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