The legendary Portuguese considers a World Cup winner that has struggled for a spark at Camp Nou to have endured “bad luck” on the injury front
Luis Figo claims to see shades of himself in Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele, with the France international still considered to be a player that boasts “enormous potential”.
The Blaugrana have not seen enough of that potential since investing heavily in the 23-year-old during the summer of 2017.
After offloading Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in a record-breaking deal, part of that €222 million (£200m/$262m) transfer package was reinvested in luring Dembele away from Borussia Dortmund.
He was considered to be one of Europe’s hottest prospects at the time, but has endured “bad luck” on the injury front since arriving at Camp Nou, according to Figo.
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Questions have also been asked of Dembele’s attitude at times, as he has been restricted to 82 appearances across three full seasons and the opening months of the 2020-21 campaign.
Figo, though, believes that there is a top talent there and that Barca should keep the faith.
The Portuguese is also expecting big things from Ansu Fati in Catalunya, with the talented teenager currently laid low with an unfortunate knee injury.
Figo told Marca of those in the modern era that conjure up memories of his own efforts: “If you have to ask me for a player that reminds me of the way I played, I’ll say that I really like Dembele.
“He’s had bad luck with injuries, but he has enormous potential.
“Then there are others like [Serge] Gnabry at Bayern Munich; he’s very good, young. They play as a winger and I like their self-confidence when it comes to one-v-ones.
“Ansu Fati has also started like that. They’re players that I like because they like to take risks and they have no fear. And that’s important for teams that play with wingers.
“I also like [Cristian] Portu at Real Sociedad.”
Barca tied Dembele to a five-year contract when snapping him up from Dortmund, with those terms due to run through to the summer of 2022.
No extension has been agreed as yet, which has led to speculation surfacing regarding a potential move elsewhere.
The likes of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with the Frenchman in the recent past and the Blaugrana are under pressure to sell before they splash the cash on further incomings.