Ousmane Dembele reportedly rejected a move to Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year and now, his performance in the final of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has come under immense criticism, writes the TBR.
The 25-year-old Frenchman started for France yesterday. Many felt he’d really trouble Argentina’s left side, but the Barcelona winger had a shocking outing, and Gary Neville had a real go at him.
Dembele would’ve surely dreamt of lifting the World Cup before he stepped onto the pitch yesterday. Sadly for him, his performance was a nightmare.
France just couldn’t get going in the first half. Argentina were all over them, and Dembele’s silly foul on Angel Di Maria in the box left the referee with no choice but to point to the spot. Lionel Messi converted his penalty and Lionel Scaloni’s men were on their way.
Neville, who was working as a pundit on ITV Sport, was furious with Dembele’s display.
“It was pathetic, he said, as quoted by HITC.
“To be fair, Di Maria, his position and his selection, well done to the Argentina manager, genius selection. It stretched Kounde. It stretched that French team.
“But the penalty, Dembele, I know he’s a wide player, but honestly, his initial challenge, you know what Di Maria is going to do. He has been doing this for 10 years, faking to cross.
“It’s embarrassing. I am torn on this one. I think it’s a soft penalty to give yourself a goal at a World Cup. But also the stupidity when you get on the wrong side and you do that, then you deserve to be found out. And Dembele gets found out. Dembele gets played like a little boy.”
Back in January this year, everyone’s eyes were on the Dembele transfer saga.
The Frenchman was not wanted by Barcelona anymore after he rejected their contract offer. They tried to push him out of the club, and several sides were linked with a move to sign him towards the end of the winter window.
Spanish publication Sport revealed on transfer deadline day last January that Tottenham made a late move to sign Dembele. The same outlet claimed a few days later that the Frenchman turned down a chance to move to Spurs – he didn’t even want to listen to their offer.
Tottenham have definitely moved on now, and a performance as bad as yesterday’s will make many associated with the club feel like they dodged a bullet.