Busquets backing Dembele to reach his potential at Barcelona
The France winger arrived to much fanfare in Catalunya but has thus far only shown glimpses of what he can become
Barcelona stalwart Sergio Busquets believes Ousmane Dembele is getting closer to living up to high expectations at Camp Nou.
Inconsistency and injuries have impeded winger Dembele from developing at the pace anticipated when he joined Barca from Borussia Dortmund for €105 million (£94m/$117m) in 2017.
The France international made strides in his second season, scoring eight La Liga goals, yet speculation surrounds his potential involvement in a reported proposal to sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain.
Dembele, 22, is said to view his future at Barcelona and midfielder Busquets thinks the Liga champions are about to benefit.
“He looks better,” the Spain international said, speaking in Japan. “We’ve been here for a few days and it’s a long season, but the way he has started is positive.
“Everyone has a hard time going to a new club, with a different language and a different philosophy.
“Hopefully everything goes better because he has a lot to give and we expect a lot from him.”
Antoine Griezmann’s arrival has further complicated Dembele’s bid to become a regular starter in attack.
Busquets, however, sees only positives.
“The signing of Griezmann is good for everyone,” the 31-year-old said. “It will make us better as a team and will increase competition.
“The problem will be for the coach, who will have to choose [from a strong squad]. The important thing is to make the team solid. He’s fitting in well with the team, style and philosophy.
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“The three new ones are integrating well, they are good team-mates. For us it’s a pleasure.”
Barcelona face Vissel Kobe, home to former Camp Nou favourites Andres Iniesta and David Villa, in a pre-match friendly in Japan on Saturday.