Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has 'lost confidence' in Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele

Barcelona face at the minimum another two weeks without the injured Lionel Messi.

The Argentine superstar picked up an arm injury early in the 4-2 win over Sevilla on Saturday evening.

Messi had already contributed a goal and an assist before he left the pitch on 26 minutes, further highlighting just how important he is to Barca.

In his absence, there were three candidates to replace Messi in the starting lineup; Ousmane Dembele, Malcom and Rafinha.

Dembele was the man who replaced the Barca captain against Sevilla.

But in the 2-0 win over Inter Milan, Rafinha got the nod and scored the opening goal of the game.

Dembele and Malcom weren't even called from the bench, with Munir even being handed a short cameo ahead of the pair.

And in the aftermath of the victory, Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo have published a worrying article on Dembele's situation at the club.

They write that Ernesto Valverde has lot all confidence in the Frenchman, hence why he has not been starting any games.

Dembele in action vs Sevilla

It means that he's unlikely to receive the minutes he so desperately needs in Messi's absence.

Not many people would have predicted Dembele's current plight when he was signed from Borussia Dortmund for around £135.5m in 2017.

However, it could mean that summer signing Malcom is finally handed some much-needed game time.

The former Bordeaux man has played just 25 minutes of La Liga action so far this season and is yet to make an appearance in the Champions League.

Malcom on the pitch vs Leganes

Barca have a packed schedule in the next three weeks, with Rafinha, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez unlikely to play every minute in Messi's absence.

Whether Dembele will get a sniff or will simply be condemned to facing Cultural Leonesa in the Copa Del Rey remains to be seen.

It's not looking promising for him, though.

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