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Barcelona: Dembélé takes one step forward and two steps back

The French forward's dismal performance in Granada, where he lost possession 14 times, did nothing to enhance his delicate situation at Barcelona.

Barcelona: Dembélé takes one step forward and two steps back

With every week that passes, Dembélé's situation seems to get even more tangled up. His strike against Linares on Wednesday helped the team to advance to the next round of the Copa del Rey. But all of that good work was undone by a poor display in the following game against Granada. It's another chances missed - and a performance which didn't do him any favours in the long and complicated operation to renew his contract amd strike a deal based on his contribution to the team.

After playing a decisive role coming off the bench in Linares, Xavi decided to include him in the starting XI at Los Cármenes only for the player to disappoint.

Dembélé blowing hot and cold

Dembélé played 82 minutes (he was replaced by Álvaro Sanz in a cautious move by Xavi with the team down to 10 men) and during his time on-field he managed to turn losing the ball into an art form. He lost the ball 14 times in total, and didn't manage a single shot on goal during the whole game. And to cap it all, he wasted three potential attempts - the one he did managed to get a clean connection on was blocked by a defender. His only contribution in attack was two crosses and the five times he managed to beat his man in a total of nine attempts - on four occasions he has the ball taken off him by an opponent. And he hardly exerted himself too much in the high press and ended the game without committing a single foul or receiving a foul.

With the Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Real Madrid just days away, Xavi must decide where Dembélé will fit in to his side when the player is showing such erratic form. At the moment, the French forward is back where he started and more likely to be back occupying the bench on Wednesday night.

His contract runs out on 30 June so he is now able to negotiate with other clubs and leave Barça on a free at the end of the season. Barcelona meanwhile are hoping to offer the player a new contract - but reduce his salary so that they can register Ferran Torrres, but Dembélé continues to drag his heels in spite of the praise he has received from the coach and president.

With his performance against Granada, it's looking increasingly more difficult for those who have defended him to continue doing so. Every day, the situatio is growing more complicated - and who knows what we can expect next, against Real Madrid...


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