Dembele set for Celta Vigo returnJanuary 3, 2018
Ousmane Dembele is set to return for Barcelona against Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening.
Having arrived at the Camp Nou last summer, Valverde was instantly hit with the decision of Brazilian Neymar leaving for French side Paris Saint Germain, leaving him with a rush to sign a replacement.
The former Athletic Club boss moved to sign French youngster Dembele from Borussia Dortmund, but his impact has been minimal due to an injury picked up in his full debut against Getafe in October.
Dembele’s injury saw him ruled out for months, but after returning to training – the winger is now set for his return against Celta Vigo.
And, boss Ernesto Valverde has promoted his return on Barca TV this week, saying he is hopeful Dembele can have a similar impact to Neymar.
“Dembele? Any Barca player is different to the others, and Dembele is a player who has the profile that we were lacking.
“His injury was an added difficulty to the situation we were facing, but we have a big squad and players who have done very well to replace him.
“Now he’s going to re-join the squad as he’s recovered from his injury. At the time, it was a tough blow to take, especially for him, because he’s a very young player and also the tension of the transfer could’ve influenced the injury.”
Barca, who remain unbeaten in La Liga, face Celta Vigo in the Copa del Rey on Thursday, before facing Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday afternoon.
Prior to the international break, Valverde’s side beat Real Madrid 3-0 thanks to goals from Messi, Suarez and Aleix Vidal.
A win over the Valencian based side could see them push even further ahead of title rivals Atletico Madrid and Valencia.