Matt Doherty is seemingly a big fan of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, who was previously reported to be a target for Tottenham Hotspur, with the right-back backing the Frenchman to ‘light up’ the World Cup.
Dembele has had several ups and downs since his big-money move to Barcelona in 2017 but the winger now appears to be settled at Camp Nou under Xavi Hernandez.
That certainly was not the case ten months ago, with reports in January of this year revealing that Spurs were looking to poach the winger from Barca (TuttoMercatoWeb).
ESPN reported at the time that Antonio Conte’s men only decided against signing the 25-year-old in January as the North London club were told they would need to offer the winger a £250,000-a-week contract.
Dembele was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the summer transfer window (AS) but he once again stayed put at the Catalonian club.
Barca’s decision to hang on to the former Borussia Dortmund man has proven to be correct one as he has been a bright spark for the club this season, having managed five goals and seven assists in the first part of the campaign (Transfermarkt).
Dembele played 77 minutes for France in their 4-1 win over Australia on Tuesday, with the Barca star setting up Kylian Mbappe’s goal in the 68th minute which put the Les Blues 3-1 up.
Speaking ahead of France’s World Cup opener, Doherty sang the winger’s praises and backed him to shine in Qatar.
When asked to pick a player to watch out for in Tuesday’s fixtures, the Republic of Ireland international told Tottenham’s official website: “Wow, tough call today! I’m going to go for a French player, and I think Ousmane Dembele will have a good tournament.
“He’s got back into form at Barcelona this season, so he could light up the World Cup. So, hopefully, he starts today and I get that one right!”
When asked about the player to watch for Wednesday, Doherty named another Spurs-linked star in Canada’s Jonathan David (GiveMeSport).
He said (Tottenham): “I’d go for Jonathan David of Canada. He plays for Lille and has scored a lot of goals in the last few seasons. It will be interesting to see how he gets on against the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, quality defenders, so he’s my player to watch.”
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Dembele’s talent has never been in doubt. It is his attitude that has always been a question mark and that is what has arguably prevented the Frenchman from reaching his potential.
I would not be surprised if that was the reason Spurs decided not to push ahead with a move for the winger in January, given how much Conte values players’ personalities and character.
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