MX23RW : Sunday, July 22 18:20:27
Jan 4, 2018 at 6pm UK at ​Balaídos
Attendance: 21,338
Celta Vigo
1-1
Barcelona
Sisto (31')
Fontas (26')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Arnaiz (15')
Gomes (64')

Ernesto Valverde: 'Barcelona must ease in Ousmane Dembele'

Valverde: 'Barcelona must ease in Dembele'
© SilverHub
Ernesto Valverde explains that he deliberately used Ousmane Dembele in a central position against Celta Vigo to 'release him of defensive obligations'.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has revealed that he played Ousmane Dembele in a central-attacking position against Celta Vigo in an attempt to ease the forward back into action.

The £135m summer signing from Borussia Dortmund was given a 20-minute runout in Thursday's Copa del Rey last-16 tie, 110 days after last featuring for his new side.

Dembele picked up a hamstring injury on his first La Liga start for the Catalan giants and has been made to wait for his comeback, which came at Balaidos in the 1-1 first-leg draw.

Rather than stick the Frenchman out wide, though, Valverde instead played him in the role usually associated with the rested Luis Suarez.

"It was so that he could play in a position where he was released of defensive obligations, which were a bit stressful at that time of the match," Valverde told reporters.

"When we know that this was the first game of this player after almost four months without playing, I preferred that he be in a position where he can gradually get used to the game.

"We must take into account that the pace of a whole match against a first division team. For Ousmane, it would have been excessive."

Dembele is now in contention to feature in Barca's home league match against Levante on Sunday afternoon.

Share this article now:
Cristiano Ronaldo in action during the La Liga game between Getafe and Real Madrid on October 14, 2017
Read Next:
Report: Ronaldo winning fitness battle
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBarcelona38289199297093
2Atletico MadridAtletico382310558223679
3Real Madrid382210694445076
4Valencia38227965382773
5Villarreal38187135750761
6Real Betis38186146061-160
7Sevilla38177144958-958
8Getafe381510134233955
9EibarEibar38149154450-651
10GironaGirona38149155059-951
11Espanyol381213133642-649
12Real Sociedad38147176659749
13Celta Vigo381310155960-149
14AlavesAlaves38152214050-1047
15Levante381113144458-1446
16Athletic Bilbao381013154149-843
17Leganes38127193451-1743
RDeportivo La CorunaDeportivo38611213876-3829
RLas PalmasLas Palmas3857262474-5022
RMalaga3855282461-3720

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account