Valverde: An experienced player wouldn’t have made the move that Dembele made

Ousmane Dembele travelled to Finland to undergo surgery and Ernesto Valverde alleged that an experienced player might have not been injured in a similar event.

The Barcelona coach highlighted that this was the French forward’s first muscular injury and he might have reacted in a different way if he had a similar problem in the past.

“I don’t think there is a way around this [injury],” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“It’s clear that he is a player who has never had a muscular problem and doesn’t have the experience to recognise the small disturbances.

“An experienced player may have not made the move that [Dembele] made.”

The former Athletic Club coach went on to discuss the player’s replacement and give his take on Dembele’s psychological condition after the injury.

“The hardest thing for a player when he gets hurt is that he has to be patient, to work alone and check the progress little by little,” he said.

“He is a young player and this is a difficulty he will find throughout his career.

“You never want to get there but we have all had muscular problems and knee injuries.

“We have several players in the team who can play in his position.

“[Gerard] Deulofeu, Aleix Vidal, Denis [Suarez], Andre Gomes are some of them and we will look for alternatives in the reserve team to try to form a starting line-up.”