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BARCELONA

Dembélé "has a lot to give Barcelona" says Busquets

Ousmane Dembélé is beginning to settle in at Barcelona, according to midfielder Sergio Busquets who has backed the player to show his best side this season.

Dembélé "has a lot to give Barcelona" says Busquets
Gorka Leiza DIARIO AS

Barcelona stalwart Sergio Busquets believes Ousmane Dembélé is getting closer to living up to high expectations at Camp Nou. Inconsistency and injuries have impeded winger Dembélé from developing at the pace anticipated when he joined Barça from Borussia Dortmund for €105million in 2017.

Dembélé's time to shine

The France international made strides in his second season, scoring eight LaLiga goals, yet speculation surrounds his potential involvement in a reported proposal to sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain. Dembélé, 22, says his future lies at Barcelona and midfielder Busquets thinks the LaLiga champions are about to benefit.

"He looks better," the Spain international said, speaking in Japan. "We've been here for a few days and it's a long season, but the way he has started is positive. Everyone has a hard time going to a new club, with a different language and a different philosophy. Hopefully everything goes better because he has a lot to give and we expect a lot from him."

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembélé

Competition on the left wing

Antoine Griezmann's arrival has further complicated Dembélé's bid to become a regular starter in attack. Busquets, however, sees only positives.

"The signing of Griezmann is good for everyone," the 31-year-old said. "It will make us better as a team and will increase competition. The problem will be for the coach, who will have to choose [from a strong squad]. The important thing is to make the team solid. He's fitting in well with the team, style and philosophy. The three new ones are integrating well, they are good team-mates. For us it's a pleasure."

Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé and Sergi Roberto.

Old friends

Barcelona face Vissel Kobe, home to former Camp Nou favourites Andrés Iniesta and David Villa, in a pre-match friendly in Japan on Saturday.