Euro 2024 – French team – Blues: Ousmane Dembélé… still nothing

Euro 2024 – French team – Blues: Ousmane Dembélé… still nothing
Euro 2024 – French team – Blues: Ousmane Dembélé… still nothing

He arrived, he blew everything up. Then, through more sporadic appearances, he established himself as the good comrade, the glue of the group. But since the 2022 World Cup, even though his hasn’t made a splash, he has been the essential right winger for the France team. How many goals has he scored since his status was confirmed in Blue? Just one against Gibraltar on a night when more than half of the team’s players scored. His assists? Two. Ousmane Dembélé is not worried, however.

In Qatar, despite a World Cup where his offensive contribution alternated between average and mediocre, Didier Deschamps was absolutely delighted with his winger’s performances with the exception of a topsy-turvy final where he caused a crude penalty. . The instructions were clear and respected: close your wing. A shadow work which finally convinced a coach always very concerned about the balance of his block. “There are offensive players capable of defending well. Ousmane has made enormous progress in this aspect. He has a large volume of play“, enthused the boss in Doha.

Ousmane Dembélé with the France team at the Euro

Credit: Getty Images

The requirements change, but he doesn’t…

At the Euro, things have changed. Basically, he remains constant and faithful to what he shows with PSG this season. It is the demands of the Blues towards him that have evolved. From now on, it is the left wing that DD has chosen to close. With Marcus Thuram then with Adrien Rabiot. It is therefore up to Dembélé to play the role, especially in the absence of Kylian Mbappé. And this is where its deficiencies become burdens. The Blues can no longer be satisfied with their defensive discipline, they expect a return on investment. Dribbling why not but, above all, a mark on the match scenario.

Except that a player who has only scored five goals in 45 caps does not transform into a lethal scorer in the blink of an eye. And what may be forgivable when Deschamps first asks him to defend is no longer so when it comes to assuming the offensive responsibilities of the Blues. As a result, Dembélé drowned against the Netherlands. In 780 minutes during the World Cups and Euros that he played (4 in total), he still has not scored a single goal. He is also the only one in this case among the blue attackers to have played each of the last four major tournaments.

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How to justify your immunity? Why is Deschamps not considering, for the moment, taking him out of dancing? Kingsley Coman’s record (8 goals in 57 caps) is barely more flattering and the Munich player, who is returning from injury, does not have 90 minutes in his legs. Randal Kolo Muani is coming off a season of languishing in Paris and Bradley Barcola is more comfortable on the left. For lack of anything better, Dembélé continues to play matches without leaving any memories.

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