Julien Stéphan on Ousmane Dembélé: ‘If he was a better finisher, he would maybe have won a Ballon d’Or by now.’ – Get French Football News

Ousmane Dembélé (26) is a player whose strengths and weaknesses are clear for all to see. Speaking after Stade Rennais’ 1-0 defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in the Coupe de France semi-final, Julien Stéphan has said that he believes that the France winger could have won a Ballon d’Or if he were stronger in one aspect. 

He is a different player. He is always asking for the ball and he isn’t scared of doing things. He accepts criticism and he has a lot of self-confidence. I am lucky […] You are worried by assists and goals, but he brings so much to the team. He is the most destabilising player in the world,” said his manager at PSG, Luís Enrique earlier this season.

However, despite being one of the most exciting, “destabilising” and fluid dribblers in world football, his finishing has often come in for criticism. This season, he has just one goal in 34 appearances in all competitions. Full-backs Achraf Hakimi (4) and Lucas Hernandez (2) have notably outscored Dembélé in Ligue 1 this season. 

In a press conference, attended by Get French Football News, Stéphan said that the former Rennes, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona winger would be held in much higher esteem if he were more efficient in front of goal. “When I’m asked about Ousmane, you always ask about his weaknesses. I always respond and talk about his qualities. I think that he is an extraordinary player. In terms of destabilising, dribbling and his ability to create spaces, he is an exceptional player. If he was a better finisher, he would maybe have won a Ballon d’Or by now. It’s true! PSG have a top finisher and another player that destabilises in an exceptional way,” he said.

GFFN | Luke Entwistle


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