Barcelona was struck a severe blow with Ousmane Dembele being ruled out for about two months following an injury sustained against Getafe. Dembele’s recovery has been going faster than expected, with Dembele undergoing surgery in Finland. Yet, while the recovery may be ahead of schedule, this still poses a serious problem for Barcelona.
Dembele is one of the most expensive transfers of the summer, brought in to fill the void left by Neymar’s departure. With this injury, it seems like Barcelona’s significant expenditure may not have been worthwhile. If Dembele struggles to find his form after returning later this fall, it would prove to be a huge financial loss for the club. For all of the football, this injury could result in a player with world-class potential turning into a flop.
One silver lining to the injury is that Deulofeu might get his chance to shine and make an impact in the starting 11, but Deulofeu might not be up to the challenges of European competition. He has blistering pace, but he lacks the footballing brain and creativity needed to thrive in this Barcelona side. This also leaves Barcelona with a significant lack of squad depth, as the club no longer will have any wingers on the bench until Dembele returns. Alcacer and Vidal could be made to play out wide as worst-case scenarios, but neither are ideal options.
This devastating injury may go down as one of the most unfortunate injuries in the past several years and could result in top talent being squandered. Barcelona must hope for a fully-fit and in-form Dembele if they are to have any chance at a successful season. This injury highlights one of the downfalls of the big-money moves that have been occurring over the past several years. Spending upwards of 100 million Euros on a single player can prove worthwhile, as several players have proven.
But, with teams putting so much money and faith in a single player, if that player gets injured, the squad is often left short-handed. Barcelona could have bought several quality players for the price of Dembele, and that would have reduced the risks of an injury affecting the team and increased the depth of the squad.
By putting all their eggs in one basket, top clubs are making big gambles on a single player. While the rewards are sometimes worthwhile, all it takes is one torn ligament make 100 million Euros worthless. As transfer fees increase at alarming rates, losses will increase as well, and Dembele might be the first instance of that.