It was a difficult first year at Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele, but amid speculation linking him with Arsenal, he has declared he isn’t leaving the Nou Camp.
The 21-year-old arrived at Barca last summer with big expectations having previously impressed with Rennes and Borussia Dortmund.
Unfortunately for the French international, he was limited to just 23 appearances in all competitions in his first season with the Catalan giants, with injuries playing a damaging part in preventing him from settling into the side.
Given Barcelona’s style of play and the high levels demanded at the club, it would have been difficult enough for Dembele to find his feet and adapt without the injuries. Nevertheless, those complicated matters further and he struggled to really display his best form for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
Naturally, that in turn led to question marks being raised over his future with the La Liga champions, but he has now seemingly put an end to transfer talk and insisted that he’s going nowhere this summer.
“I’m staying at Barcelona and I’m ready to play the Spanish Super Cup,” he said, as reported by the Evening Standard, on a Twitch stream, with the report also specifically noting Arsenal as an interested party.
It’s questionable as to whether that’s the best move for Dembele, as with Malcom joining Barca this summer, it will only lead to increased competition for places along with the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.
Nevertheless, with Unai Emery already having the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to choose from in the final third, Dembele may well have experienced similar issues at the Emirates too.
Time will tell if his decision to stay pays off, but with Barcelona looking to compete on various fronts this season, it could be expected that Dembele will have an important role to play.