Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele has returned to training after two months out with ankle ligament damage.
The Frenchman had been receiving treatment for the injury in Qatar, but he is now back in Catalonia to complete the final stages of his rehab. For the time being, Dembele will not partake in full-contact training with his teammates, despite encouraging signs in his recovery of late.
His last appearance for La Blaugrana came on 27 November, when Ernesto Valverde’s recruits overcame Borussia Dortmund 3-1 at Camp Nou in the Champions League group stages.
Valverde has since been removed from his post as Barça boss, with the club bringing in Quique Setien as his replacement. According to Marca, Dembele will soon have an opportunity to prove his worth to the newly-appointed head coach.
Though he received plenty of game-time during Valverde’s reign at Barcelona, the 22-year-old was frequently linked with a move away from Catalonia.
Last December, it was reported that Dembele’s agent had held talks with a number of top European clubs over a transfer, with his current employers thought to have been angered by his actions.
It’s unclear at the moment what role he will be given under Setien, though the manager’s primary concern is ensuring the former Dortmund starlet received ample time to complete his rehab process.
La Blaugrana are in the midst of tightly-contested La Liga title race, with the champions ahead of fierce rivals Real Madrid on goal-difference, alone. They likewise remain in the hunt for the Champions League, as well as the Copa del Rey.
It would, therefore, be unfair and unwise for Setien to throw the forward back into action before he’s reached full fitness. As things stands, Dembele should be in line for a recall against Real Betis on 9 February, or Getafe six days later.
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