It seems to be one step forward and two steps back for Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona right now.
The Frenchman appeared to have won over Ernesto Valverde in recent weeks with his performances on the pitch, starring in the Catalan derby on Saturday evening.
Dembele scored the second goal of the game and was a constant thorn in Espanyol's side during the 4-0 rout.
Philippe Coutinho was banished to the bench due to the presence of the 20-year-old, but after the game, Dembele's reputation took another significant blow.
Reports all across Spain stated that the Frenchman turned up to Barcelona training two hours late on Sunday.
It's a sad indictment of a player who's growth is being significantly hindered by his lacklustre attitude.
And Catalan publication Sport have decided to publish a piece essentially dismissing any theory of a media campaign against Dembele.
Journalist Lluis Mascaro wrote: "Many supporters (and some journalists) feel there's a campaign against Ousmane Dembele. It's true. There is a campaign.
"And the main architect in it is Dembele himself. Because it's hard to understand, in any way, how after his great performance in the Catalan derby he arrives two hours late for training the next day. There's no possible excuse for the France forward.
"Especially now that he's taken huge leaps forward on the pitch. So big, even, that he seems to have moved ahead of Philippe Coutinho in the pecking order."
The piece goes on to slam Dembele for his blatant showing of disrespect to the manager and his teammates, before ending on a very telling note.
"On December 9, Sport gave Dembele a 9/10 for his great performance at Espanyol," Mascaro wrote."
"And on December 10, we have no choice but to give him a 0, for going back to his old ways. The campaign is in Dembele's head."
Ouch, a damning description of such a gifted player.
Regardless if he's doing the business on the pitch, if he's a hindrance off of it, Dembele will be shown the exit door a lot sooner than many predicted back in the summer of 2017.News Now - Sport News