After selling Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017, Barcelona knew they needed to sign a player who could fill the huge void left by the world-class Brazilian forward.
They eventually decided 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele was that man.
The French forward had shown his talent and potential at Borussia Dortmund but was still raw in many ways and it was no real surprise that his debut season at the Camp Nou was a struggle.
Dembele, who could eventually cost Barça an eye-watering £135.5 million, only managed to score four goals in 23 appearances for the Catalan giants last term.
There was the odd flash of brilliance but Barça fans expecting to see a player on Neymar’s level were left disappointed.
The opening few months of the current campaign were also somewhat ominous, with various reports emerging about the youngster turning up late for training and team meetings.
However, Dembele has knuckled down in recent weeks and is beginning to show everyone why Barça forked out an initial £96.8 million for his services in the first place.
The lightning-quick forward scored twice in Barça’s 3-0 victory over Levante in the Copa del Rey on Thursday evening. He has now netted an impressive five goals in his last eight games.
But there was one moment - aside from his goals - that got the Camp Nou faithful off their seats during the Levante match.
Within the space of a few seconds - using his brilliant close-control, imagination and improvisation - Dembele drifted past three opponents with a mesmeric dribble.
You can hear from the reaction of the crowd that they absolutely loved it.
Watch the video here…
And here’s a slowed down version from a different angle…
This was positively Messi-esque. He’s clearly been paying very close attention to Leo.
Whisper it quietly but the Frenchman is beginning to look like a potential future Ballon d’Or winner.
Dembele played for 77 minutes before he was subbed off for Denis Suarez.
Here are his impressive stats from Thursday night’s cup tie…
It’s clear Barça have a future superstar on their hands.News Now - Sport News