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Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho arrived at Camp Nou respectively in summer and winter transfer window of 2017/18 season. The duo sit out on bench despite costing Barcelona $250 million because of their injuries, but the club and the players both were patient enough to make the most of their situations. Now, both players have started to find their place in starting XI and they are showing how they make Barcelona a complete team.

Barcelona was already great with a world class goalkeeper in Andre Ter-Stegen; a centre-pairing in Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti; midfield trio in Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta which every club envy and a forward duo in Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez about whom you can only pray to have in your team.

Why Barcelona’s two $100m signings are on bench?

I have already named eight of the Barcelona playing XI and I can’t wait to put left-back Jordi Alba name on that list to make it perfect nine. Sergio Roberto has done a fair job as right-back but Dani Alves is still missed at the club. But, it was Neymar’s void which club was eagerly looking to fill and they made two transfers in Dembele and Coutinho to fill that void.

It’s still early stage and it’s difficult to compare Coutinho or Dembele to Neymar, but they give a different dimension to this Barcelona lineup. Barcelona were lacking a player who can shoots from range and Coutinho promises to deliver those goals when going gets tough with his typical Coutinho goal.

Barcelona believes in passing game and they always look for that extra pass to give the final touch, but sometimes oppositions build the wall and defend so tight. It makes difficult to get into the box and find a scoring opportunity and that’s when Coutinho can weave his magic with his typical moves. Former Liverpool player has already proved his worth for Reds, it’s only matter of time for the Brazilian to acclimatize in Catalan environment to produce his best football.

When Coutinho’s game is mostly limited to his attacking prowess, Dembele backs his team in defending situation as well. Dembele is very sharp with making his runs and it gives him an advantage to beat opposition defender and provide passes to someone like Messi and Suarez who can wait inside the box. He is also very good with making challenges on the other side of the pitch and rescues his team making defending runs to help the backward line.

Barcelona have struggled in the past in that area as Messi and Suarez rarely makes backward run to rescue his team in a defending situation. Dembele fills that void with his pace and ability to anticipate a danger on the other side of the pitch.

We hope Neymar won’t be missed longer in Barcelona camp and both of these players will prove to be the future star of the club. Coutinho has already started weaving his magic with Coutinho’s special and Dembele is only lacking goals to boost his confidence at the very moment. His goal against Chelsea in Uefa Champions League second-leg last 16 match will boost up his morale and soon he’ll be back to his best. Both of them completes the Barcelona lineup and we hope to enjoy the great football from the Catalans once again which we witnessed during 2009 to 2011.


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