Ousmane Dembele has admitted he ‘wasted the last five years of his life’ at Barcelona and feared that he could ‘stagnate’ if he didn’t get to the bottom of his injury woes.
The 25-year-old joined the Catalonian club from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and initially struggled to live up to the landmark £135million fee the club paid for him after being plagued by recurring soft tissue injuries over the last five years.
Life in Spain didn’t get off to a smooth start for the winger after he was ruled out of the majority of the 2017/18 season with a hamstring injury within weeks of joining the club.
That would develop into a recurring problem, with the French international going on to reportedly missed approximately 102 games for Barcelona since his arrival, despite making 158 appearances and scoring 34 goals for the club.
Dembele has since turned his form around under the guidance of new boss Xavi and has scored twice and laid on four assists in seven starts under the Spaniard this term. Last season under both Ronald Koeman and Xavi, he managed 13 assists in LaLiga.
But speaking to RMC Sport, Dembele reflected on his tough times and how he ‘wasted’ a large chunk of his career at the Nou Camp.
‘My lifestyle in my first years at Barca? I was young like everyone else. But I managed to get out of this situation. However, not everything is as people imagined. From 2017 to 2021 I have wasted my time enormously. I’ve wasted five years of my life.