Barcelona Was a substitute for the youngster
It could be seen as a controversial move, but the youngster, although he has not played well for the Blaugrana in recent outings, deserves to be given a chance by the Barcelona coach because, among other things, he has not gone to play in the Under-17 World Cup.
Fati‘s presence in the side should not just be on merit alone, in fact it is necessary to provide competition upfront to the likes of Dembele.
When Fati took to the pitch, Dembele was left seething on the bench, and we all know that no player likes to be a substitute, especially when they have been dropped to make way for a youngster.
The ploy by Valverde worked. Fati didn’t play particularly well and Dembele was brought on to the pitch in the second half, and what a replacement he proved to be.
Within 45 seconds of being on the field, he produced two high quality dribbles and a shot on goal. The Frenchman breathed new life into the lethargic side that was over reliant on their Argentine talisman Lionel Messi in the first half.
When Dembele touches the ball, the opposition quake in their boots, and he always looks dangerous in attack. In Saturday evening’s clash against Celta, he galvanised Barcelona‘s front line and provided excellent support to an out of this world Messi.
That being said, Dembele now knows he can’t rest on his laurels as Valverde has shown that he is ready and willing to play Fati should the Frenchman’s performances not be up to scratch.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the duel develops in the coming months, and whether the pair could even potentially challenge the starting place of Antoine Griezmann should they both enjoy spells of great form.