Ousmane Dembele is understood to have delayed a decision over his future in part due to the sale of Chelsea going through under the consortium led by Todd Boehly, according to Nick Purewal.
The Barcelona winger, who is out of contract at the Camp Nou on June 30, is attracting interest from PSG and Bayern Munich and has been expected to move away from La Liga this summer after a disappointing few years at Barcelona. Thomas Tuchel was adamant Chelsea had no contact with Dembele in January when the winger was linked with a mid-season switch to Stamford Bridge but now, as the Blues look to rebuild under new ownership, it seems more plausible.
Speaking with Sky Sports in May 2021, Tuchel picked the French attacker as one of the most talented players he’s ever coached. “One of the first names that pops into my mind is Ousmane Dembele when he stepped in at Dortmund. Like that was a pretty natural talent and very, very outstanding.
“But Dembele was one of the craziest natural talents because he was shooting free-kicks with the left, shooting corners with the left. Going to the other corners doing the inswing with the right. Going to penalties, shooting with left, shooting with right, dribbling, running, passing.”
Tuchel expressed his frustration with Chelsea’s attack in the final week of the Premier League campaign, citing the characteristics of players the club will be looking out for in the transfer window this summer, whilst also analysing where his system might have gone wrong.
There are a lot of options. The numbers we produce from our offensive players don’t allow us to overperform and we need overperformance if we want to be nearer to the top two teams. I am not pointing fingers, I am not blaming anybody, but we need overperformance from everybody. It’s not over performance if we have only single figures in scoring and assisting.”
Dembele reuniting with Tuchel this summer could prove to be one of the transfer steals of a tricky summer for Chelsea given the amount of work needed to be done. In the 2016/17 campaign when Dembele became a burgeoning talent Barcelona deemed it was worth paying £126million for, the youngster scored 10 goals and racked up an eye-catching 21 assists.
The concern over his injury record is logical, missing more than 100 games for Barcelona since the record-breaking transfer in August 2017. Since regaining fitness in January though, the 25-year-old has quickly shown flashes of his talent once more from his favoured right-wing spot.
Twelve goal contributions and being marked as top for “Expected Assists Per 90” and “Open-Play Expected Assists per 90” in Europe’s top five leagues for 2021/22 showcase a player in good confidence.
Like how Chelsea signed Thiago Silva from PSG in 2020 and then appointed Tuchel following his sacking from the French club in 2021, both moves benefited Chelsea and arguably weakened the Paris club, nabbing Dembele could add a third embarrassment whilst the Blues under Boehly benefit.
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