Ousmane Dembele is damaging his career through his poor attitude at Barcelona, according to club legend Rivaldo.
Dembele has been consistently linked with a move away from the Nou Camp, and was recently disciplined by the club after turning up late for training.
He cost the club £96million when he joined from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017, and Rivaldo admits he is disappointed at the situation, as he feels Dembele could be an important member of the team.
Speaking to Betfair, Rivaldo said: ‘Ousmane Dembele’s situation at Barcelona is upsetting because he’s already shown that he can play very well, score goals and be an important member of the team. He just needs to focus on being a little more professional and to stop being late for training sessions.
‘This is not the correct mentality for someone potentially trying to leave Barcelona. It’s always strange to hear that someone might want to leave a big club in this way. Anyway, if he wants to leave, he must prove his value by playing well and not missing training sessions to recover his credibility as a professional. If he doesn’t change, he is hurting himself more than the club.’
Dembele has been linked with several leading European clubs, including Arsenal, as he struggles for consistent Barca starts since his huge money move.
Rivaldo however feels he is going the wrong away about either earning that place at Barca or seeking opportunities elsewhere, and needs better advice from those close to him.
He said: ‘This isn’t easy for Barca either. They can’t simply control all players’ steps as they have their own personal lives. Even if you alert the player about his behaviour, you can’t do anything else as you would be chasing him all the time.
‘I think this is more a job for a family member, friends or the player’s manager – basically his support network. They should remember him that this could undermine his career which would be a pity for such a talented player.’
When he has played for Barca this season, Dembele has impressed, with eight goals and five assists in 19 games.