Barcelona: Valverde speaks on Dembele’s performance against Celta Vigo

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Barcelona: Valverde speaks on Dembele’s performance against Celta Vigo

Barcelona: Valverde speaks on Dembele’s performance against Celta Vigo

Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, has played down Ousmane Dembele’s return from a lengthy injury lay-off.

Dembele played the last 20 minutes of Thursday’s Copa del Rey tie against Celta Vigo, which ended 1-1.

It was his first game in 110 days and Valverde played the France winger in a central striking role in the absence of Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

“It was so that Dembele played in a position where he was released of defensive obligations, which were a bit stressful at that time of the match,” Valverde said of Dembele’s positional switch.

“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.”