The winger’s last appearance for the Blaugrana came in late November during a 3-1 Champions League victory over his old club Borussia Dortmund. He was taken off midway through that encounter, with subsequent scans revealing Dembélé had strained his hamstring.
Barcelona announced news of the 22-year-old’s setback via their official website, explaining that he’d felt discomfort in his thigh on Monday morning.
Though he’s still in the early years of his career, this latest issue has raised concerns over Dembélé’s long-term fitness, with club officials frustrated by his ongoing injury problems.
In 2017, the Catalans paid Dortmund an initial fee of €105m to prise him away from Signal Iduna Park, though the deal could rise to a total of €145m, depending on the forward’s performances with Barça.
However, injuries have seriously impacted his game time, with Dembélé needing treatment on eight separate occasions since arriving at Camp Nou. His fitness struggles have seen him miss a total of 63 matches for the club.
The World Cup winner has been increasingly linked with a move away from Barcelona over the past two years, with Liverpool thought to be among the sides vying for his signature.
Despite interest from the Reds, Dembélé has been thrown a lifeline by recently-appointed Blaugrana manager Quique Setién, who has spoken of his desire for the youngster to replace the ageing Luis Suarez in the Barça team.
The wide man had been expected to make his return to the first team during Sunday’s La Liga meeting with Real Betis, but that is doubtful in light of his latest setback.
Nevertheless, it appears he was removed from training as a precaution, meaning his comeback is still likely to happen over the course of the next month.
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