Dortmund’s summer has quieted down a bit since the appointment of Peter Bosz and the signing of Maximilian Philipp. But one troubling story has emerged over the past couple weeks: Ousmane Dembele has been increasingly linked away from BVB to some of the biggest clubs in Europe
Last week Bild reported that Dembele’s agent had met with representatives from Barcelona, and then this week French outlet Le 10 Sport claimed that Dembele had traveled to Manchester to dine with Pep Guardiola. The Barcelona meeting may have happened, but journalists in England were saying yesterday that Pep Guardiola wasn’t even in Manchester at the time of his supposed meal with Dembele.
And as Gilles pointed out in the Daily Bee, Le 10 Sport’s other claim, that Ous had even been to City’s training facilities for a tour, is ridiculous and illegal. Manchester City also already have dozens of attacking players. That move isn’t happening.
But despite all that, it’s obvious that there is currently a lot of interest in Ousmane Dembele around Europe. His 10 goals and 18 assists last year only further solidified his place as one of the brightest U-21 talents on the planet.
Dortmund knew, when signing him from Rennes, that they were getting a player who could turn into one of the world’s very best. But they also knew that if he fulfilled his potential he would eventually leave for one of the biggest clubs in the world. I just don’t think they knew how quickly he would start to fulfill his potential on the biggest stages.
He was one of Dortmund’s best players in some of their most crucial games in the Bundesliga, Champions League, and Pokal last season. He won’t be 21 until next May, but he’s already had 7 caps for France’s senior team. His performances on high profile stages have only increased the demand for his services, but Dortmund can not give in.
BVB selling Dembele this summer would be a complete disaster. It would mean another summer where the club is forced to rebuild after selling a key player to a bigger club. Dortmund have a reputation for being a selling club in terms of selling key players to Bayern, but the departure of Dembele to a team like Barcelona would be just as painful for the fans.
We’re all expecting Ousmane to be one of Dortmund’s best players next season, in what will only be his second season at the Westfalenstadion. Last year, the higher-ups at BVB told Thomas Tuchel that they would resist selling all of the club’s key players. But that promise didn’t last long, as Mats Hummels, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Ilkay Gundogan all left the club. Those departures seriously hamstrung last year’s team, and significantly hurt relations between Tuchel and the executives above him.
Surely Peter Bosz has been promised something similar before coming into the club. If Dembele leaves, his job in his first season becomes exponentially harder. That departure could be enough to trigger a regression at BVB from last season.
But most of all, Dembele can’t leave yet because it would betray the trust of the fans. The club knows he will leave eventually, but it can’t be allowed to happen so soon. Let Barcelona pay a huge fee for him next summer, but for now he’s too important to Dortmund to just be sold to the highest bidder.