The reason why Ousmane Dembele didn't play a minute for Barcelona vs Inter Milan

Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona

Barcelona are having to make do without the mercurial Lionel Messi right now.

The Argentinian superstar fractured his arm in the 4-2 win over Sevilla, ruling him out of action for around three weeks.

It's a huge blow to the Blaugrana, particularly with their tough run of fixtures to come while Messi is on the treatment table.

Nevertheless, Ernesto Valverde does have a plethora of options to replace the 31-year-old in his squad.

Rafinha, Ousmane Dembele, Malcom and Munir are all vying for the vacant spot in the starting XI.

Dembele was the one brought off the bench against Sevilla, but it was Rafinha who was given the nod against Inter Milan on Wednesday night.

The Brazilian excelled in the 'freedom role', scoring the opening goal of the game.

Dembele and Malcom didn't even appear off the bench, with Munir getting a few minutes at the end.

So why is Dembele not being trusted by the manager after his decent start to the season? Well, there's a very good reason behind the manager's decision.

Dembele in action vs Girona

Catalan publication Sport explain that it was Dembele's substitution in the Sevilla game that changed Valverde's thinking.

The boss was not impressed with how long the Frenchman took to get ready and the fact he hadn't even tied his boots when he called him did not go down well.

They report that the dressing room were also unhappy with Dembele's actions.

Valverde decided to teach the former Borussia Dortmund man a lesson by benching him against Inter in the hope that he will be more switched on in the future.

Dembele gets some minutes vs Leganes

The Frenchman will now have to take any opportunity handed to him in the coming weeks, with Valverde likely to hand more minutes to Rafinha.

Even Malcom could finally get his chance to impress while Messi is absent.

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