It was surprising how confident Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu sounded when he declared that Ousmane Dembele was better than Neymar. If only because Dembele has been linked as a potential makeweight in a deal for the Brazilian which wouldn't look good: letting a player leave in order to bring in someone who wasn't as good. Only Bartomeu knows why he said that but perhaps it's because he knows that complex swap deal won't materialise. Dembele won't leave the Camp Nou this summer as part of the Neymar deal. That's the decision from the coaching staff and a challenge to the player himself, who is desperate to be a success at Barça. The club is handing the winger a third chance and Dembele wants to take advantage of that. Perhaps Dembele isn't better than Neymar but he is necessary for a squad such as Barcelona's.
Before anything else, let's be clear here, both of Dembele's seasons at Barça have been disappointing. He's struggled more than he's excelled. Too many injuries, youthful mistakes, but he's also produced moments of magic on the pitch that generate hope and passion amongst supporters. He's extremely quick, electric even, and is capable of unsettling any defender. All three combined is something no other player at Barça can claim to have. There's also no doubting his talent. He's unpredictable on the pitch, has that spark and can score goals. Dembele is capable of changing a match simply by being out there. Those players are priceless. I've always felt like he would have been the solution to that fateful night at Anfield. We'll never know. But what we do know is he possesses certain traits and talents that you won't find anywhere else on the market.