Dortmund fans knew that Ousmane Dembele could leave this summer, but I don’t think they expected his departure to be so dramatic.
As we all know, Dembele skipped training when he didn’t initially get the move to Barcelona that he wanted. Dortmund claimed they wouldn’t sell, so Ous went AWOL and didn’t train with the club again.
Eventually he got his transfer to Barca, but the 20-year-old has damaged his reputation in the process.
Bayern legend Michael Ballack is the latest to have his say on how Dembele forced a move out of Dortmund. He gave his thoughts (translated below) in an interview with Barcelona outlet Sport.
"He has a lot to thank Dortmund for and he should have shown a different behavior. In 2004 I had an agreement with Barcelona, but Bayern didn't want to let me go. A strike was not an option for me. In football, fair play is necessary. You always want to win, but there are limits."
Ballack isn’t exactly the favorite player of BVB fans, but he’ll earn some brownie points by saying this. He’s sticking up for the idea that a club shouldn’t be expected to sell just because a player has his head turned.
Dembele only spent one year at Dortmund, but he does have a lot to thank them for. A talented youngster turning into a star is a process that can’t be taken for granted. At Dortmund he had the opportunity to continue to grow and begin to fulfill his potential, which is ultimately what got him his dream move to Barcelona.
There was a way for him to leave without burning all of his bridges, but he chose a different way.
It’s safe to say that Ousmane Dembele will get a pretty hostile reception if Barcelona play in Dortmund anytime soon.