Ousmane Dembele not accepting bench role behind a new trident

On the unpredictability of Ousmane Dembele there’s not a lot more to say. He is a footballer who can exasperate you to your limits but also fill you with wonder, absolute brilliance, and even in pre-season bring a huge smile to your face.

Barca knew they were wandering into uncharted territory with Dembele. A curious character who disconnects from games as easily as he turns them on their head. A difficult player to tame and mould.

After a first season full of unfortunate events, he came closer to his splendour last year. And in the Hard Rock Stadium he drew everyone to their feet.

Antoine Griezmann’s signing in theory relegates him to the bench, but Dembele is fighting against the idea of a new trident featuring his compatriot, Messi and Suarez.

Dembele got to work a week early and is driving himself to be physically better than before, a surprise for a player with a sometimes distant and detached character.

Neymar’s potential arrival would be difficult for him to take. Should the Brazilian arrive, Dembele would have to leave – either in exchange or elsewhere. But he is putting that noise to one side and doing the best that he can.