There's no shortage of pressure on Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona this season.
At just 20-years-old, the forward is the third most expensive player in history with his new club shelling out no less than £135.5 million for his services. Whether the club or Ernesto Valverde like to admit it or not, the youngster is essentially a replacement for Neymar.
Dembele proved the most exciting purchase of a late transfer window scramble that was spurred on by the £196 million exit of one of their star men.
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So far, the Frenchman has made a solid start to life at the Nou Camp and his quest to forge a formidable forward trio alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
He provided a debut assist in the 5-0 thrashing of Espanyol before showing glimpses of brilliance on his European bow versus Juventus. His first goal for Blaugrana is yet to arrive, though, with a clear chance in the Champions League escaping him.
Barcelona have an interesting dilemma as far as the young winger is concerned.
On the one hand, there's no time like the present and Barça need a fit and firing Dembele to reel in the Real Madrid dominance of late. Nevertheless, it would unwise to burn out one of the game's brightest talent when he has already been thrusted into the spotlight.
Consequently, according to Sport, Valverde has settled on four demands in his mission to nurse the Frenchman to success at Barcelona.
Valverde is said to be insisting on regular link-up play with central players from his wide men as means of augmenting cohesion in the attack. This is predominantly believed to be a ploy through which Dembele can improve his chemistry with Messi and Suarez on the pitch.
The new plan relieves Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic of unnecessary burdens, aiding the general reliability of the side.
Given his supreme talent, the coaching set-up at the Nou Camp want Dembele to add elements of ingenuity and invention into the attack. Diagonal runs would help to free up space for full-backs with Nelson Semedo rich in attacking quality.
Mix with Messi
This is the factor that Valverde believes is the key to Dembele succeeding in Catalunya. The Barça boss wants the Frenchman to become fluent in Messi's movements so he can adjust his position on the pitch in accordance with the side's star man.
The early signs of this relationship were apparent against Juventus with Messi giving out instructions on the pitch to ease his teammate into the system.
An impetus on Dembele tracking back has also been applied and was noticed in his tracking of Alex Sandro on Wednesday. Valverde is more than aware of his new signing's pace and fitness and could rely on him to support Semedo if Barça revert to a 4-4-2.
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