Ousmane Dembele remains a Barcelona player after failing to secure a move away from the Camp Nou, but while president Joan Laporta wants the Frenchman to sit in the stands for the remainder of the season, Dani Alves believes he should be allowed to play.
The club’s position about Dembele was emphasised during the presentations of new signings Adama Traore and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, yet reports began to emerge on Friday that Dembele could be included in Barcelona‘s squad list for their crucial match at home to Atletico Madrid on Sunday afternoon,
“As long as he is still at Barcelona, we have to defend him. If he leaves at the end of the season, then fine… but there are still five months left and we have to take advantage of the fact that he is still here,” Alves told Movistar+.
“I think there are situations when you have to be smarter than your ego.
“We have to be smarter about the situation. We need to be as strong as possible, a joint effort from everyone.
“We are trying to get Barcelona back towards the top of the table, to create a healthy and positive atmosphere where there are no bad feelings.
“Negative things don’t help you to grow, they don’t help you to do things well.
“It’s obvious that we have to create harmony within the dressing room and the club. At the end of the day, we are all representing Barcelona.”
Ferran Torres also supports Dembele
New Barcelona signing Ferran Torres has also come to the defence of Dembele.
“We all know that Dembele is a special player who can make the difference very easily, and if the coach decides [to select him], he will surely play.”
Dembele has made 11 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions so far this season, in which he has scored one goal and provided two assists.