Setien unsure whether Barcelona will sign replacement for injured Dembele


A fresh setback for the France international has left Barca dangerously thin on attacking cover, prompting reports they may bring in a new face

Quique Setien is concerned for Ousmane Dembele though is unsure if Barcelona will have to make signings to replace the injured winger.

Dembele seems set to miss the rest of the season after sustaining a tear in his right hamstring in training on Monday.

The France international had been working his way back from a hamstring issue in the same leg which had kept him out since November.

News of Dembele’s injury was somewhat overshadowed by Lionel Messi’s public criticism of Barca director Eric Abidal on Tuesday, though the 22-year-old’s continued absence leaves Setien short of numbers up top, with Luis Suarez also out.

However, Setien is not convinced Barca, who have Portuguese forward Francisco Trincao joining from July 1, will do further business to replace Dembele.

“These are things that are pending that will be talked about first of all. We are going to see what the diagnosis is for the problem Dembele has, how long he’s going to be out,” Setien told a news conference ahead of Thursday’s Copa del Rey clash with Athletic Bilbao.

“Once we know that and have all the info we’ll take decisions. It’s true I was very excited to get Ousmane back to help us, this is obviously an unfortunate situation but I’ve always had problems in my career and what I always try to do is find solutions.

“We’ll see if it’s going to be a long time out and if we can sign someone, we’ll have to wait and see, and if not we’ll try to find the path to give the team solidity, consistency and identity that is required to win games.

“We’ll always look at things positively and with excitement. I always said I’m going to be happy here and this doesn’t stop me from being happy.

“I’m worried most not about Dembele as a footballer. He’s an extraordinary kid who works with intensity and desire to come back. It could be three, four or five months without playing football which is the thing he likes to do the most.”

When pressed on Barca’s failure to bring in reinforcements up front, Setien said: “Well I’m sure we’ll always have 11 players! I’m sure we’ll always be competitive as well. In football these things happen.

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“But we are going to be competitive with what we have. If we can’t sign anyone for any reason, it doesn’t matter, we are going to work with the same excitement and desire, ensuring players that are here are completely committed.

“You can see that today we had another extraordinary training session and are completely focused on the game tomorrow which is what completely bothers us.

“I would like to have more players. If we had known about the injury to Ousmane, I don’t think Carles Perez would have left the club. But I’m not going to be crying permanently about things, I need to transmit positivity to my squad.”


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