MSD primed and ready to go

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was clear when saying Dembele cannot be afforded the ideal amount of time to adapt to his new club that he is aware his team need to get off to a good start in the Champions League and put behind them a poor summer transfer window.

“There would have been more time for Dembele if he had come earlier but now the competition is all important and we need to put out the best,” Valverde told a press conference yesterday.

Unless there is a surprise it means that the Camp Nou crowd will see the new trident including Dembele after he was brought on as a substitute in the 5-0 mauling of Espanyol at the weekend.

It will be a case of throwing him in at the deep end as he now will start his first match against the Champions League finalists of last season but it will be a good opportunity to see how he fairs alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in a game that could decide who finishes top of the group.

Barcelona need a pickmeup after their poor Supercopa de Espana performance against Real Madrid that came on the back of their generally woeful moves in the transfer window and only if the new MSD can perform like the MSN will the wounds begin to heal.

There were promising signs when Dembele came on against Espanyol with his link up play and it did look as though Messi and Suarez wanted to help him fit in.

They celebrated with him the fifth goal where Dembele supplied Suarez and in training they have got on well with Samuel Umtiti as translator.

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen also has said that Dembele “has started well” and “is in positive mood after the weekend”.

Whatever happens it will be in Dembele’s interests not to concentrate on the breathtaking statistics achieved by the MSN in three years where they hit 364 goals under coach Luis Enrique and won eight titles.

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