Dembele called into Barcelona squad for Getafe visit

Barcelona's French forward Ousmane Dembele smiles during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) football match RC Celta de Vigo vs FC Barcelona at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on January 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL RIOPA

MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP / Getty

Ousmane Dembele’s gradual reintroduction to the Barcelona fold took another step forward after he was selected in the squad for Sunday’s visit from Getafe.

Ernesto Valverde has exercised caution with Dembele, and understandably so. The flying forward was hit with a serious hamstring injury for almost four months early in the campaign, and was then struck down with another hamstring issue – mercifully unrelated to the first setback – four matches into his return last month.

Valverde said he had “high hopes” for the €105-million summer acquisition, before adding: “He will help us with his quality. He is feeling good and will be introduced little by little.”

Dembele only had 44 league starts over the course of his career prior to shifting to Catalonia, but was Borussia Dortmund’s standout player in the 2016-17 term, fashioning eight goals and 18 assists across 42 Bundesliga and Champions League matches.

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