Barcelona’s capture of Ousmane Dembele in a £135.5 million deal from Borussia Dortmund helped soften the blow of what was an awful summer for the club.
The Blaugrana sold Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, were embarrassed by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup and watched Luis Suarez go down hurt with an injury that has forced him to miss the opening weeks of the season.
The sight of summer signing Paulinho failing miserably to perform kick-ups at his unveiling summed Barcelona’s woes up.
The Spanish giants used a large chunk of Neymar’s €222m fee to sign Dembele and there is a hope that the 20-year-old will contribute immediately.
MSN is no more but LOL (Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez) has the potential to be just as devastating.
The France international has taken the number 11 shirt vacated by Neymar and will play in the Brazilian’s position, but he doesn’t view himself as the PSG star’s replacement.
“I’m not here to replace Neymar,” Dembele said after signing for Barcelona.
“I will try to make good progress. I am only 20 years old and have a lot to learn. That’s why I came to this big club.”
Dembele spoke with Mbappe
Dembele made his desire to leave Dortmund clear, submitting a transfer request and even flying to France after being suspended by BVB.
And he’s revealed in an interview with Spanish outlet Sport that France teammate Kylian Mbappe had to keep him calm as his move to Barcelona dragged on.
Mbappe, of course, was involved in his own huge transfer, signing for PSG on a season-long loan ahead of a potential £165.7m permanent move next summer.
Yet the 18-year-old still found the time to comfort Dembele and congratulate him after he signed for Barcelona.
What Mbappe said to Dembele
“He's a really good colleague,” Dembele said. “We speak a lot on the phone and even more during this process.
“He's happy for me. He tried to calm me down when the days were passing and the signing wasn't made official. He told me it was a question of time.
“He was really happy for me when I signed, he congratulated me, wished me the best. I wish him the best, too.”
No doubt the pair will be encouraging each other to perform throughout the season, the biggest in each of their short careers.
Who will have the better career: Mbappe or Dembele? Let us know in the comments section below!