Ever get the feeling of buying something really, really expensive, only for it to break a few weeks later?
That’s exactly how Barcelona are feeling right now after confirming that Ousmane Dembele will be out for up to four months with a hamstring injury.
The 20-year-old, who joined from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth £135m.5 million last month, hobbled off after just 28 minutes of Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Getafe on Saturday.
The Blaugrana released a statement on Monday saying Dembele had travelled to Helsinki in Finland to undergo surgery to repair a rupture of the biceps femoris tendon in his left thigh.
It’s a big blow to Barcelona. Dembele recorded an assist in his first match for the club and will miss some valuable time building his partnership with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Games Dembele could miss
Several Barcelona officials were quick to blame Getafe’s pitch for Dembele’s injury but Ernesto Valverde dismissed that idea.
"I don't think we need to read too much into these things," the Barcelona coach coach said, per FourFourTwo. "When players warm up they stretch their thighs, their knees.
"He's a player who has never had muscle problems in the past, so perhaps he doesn't recognise niggles which can be more aggressive in the long term.
"He's very fast and the movement he did is the worst you can do for the injury. It's not normal, but a veteran may have avoided making such an aggressive movement.”
Dembele appeared injured before kick-off
The thought that the pitch played no part in Dembele’s injury is further enhanced by footage of the France international warming up.
Dembele can be seen holding his left thigh during stretches and seconds before kick-off, too, suggesting he was injured before the match.
Watch the footage below.
There’s surely an inquiry to be made if Dembele was playing with an injury.
Did he fail to disclose the injury himself, or were Barcelona aware of it and still started him anyway?
We’ll never know, of course. But Barcelona fans will be very annoyed either way.
Valverde is confident in Dembele's replacements
Despite the injury, Valverde is confident in the players who can step in to replace Dembele.
"We have several players in the team who play that position," Valverde added. "We have [Gerard] Deulofeu, [Aleix] Vidal, Denis Suarez, Andre Gomes.
"We have options. We'll look for alternatives to put together a starting XI."