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Ousmane Dembele can fill Neymar shoes at Barcelona says Umtiti
Dembele completed a €105million move from Borussia Dortmund on Monday to replace Neymar, who joined Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record €222m deal earlier this month.
Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti says that new recruit Ousmane Dembele has the profile and talent to fill the shoes of Neymar at the Camp Nou.
Umtiti is a France teammate of Dembele, who says the 20-year-old will make a big impact in La Liga.
“I’m very glad he’s joining us. He is the type of player that we have missed since Neymar left,” Umtiti told reporters.
“He’s a very carefree person in relation to everything that happens, in relation to the talent he has. It’s one of his strengths and I hope he will help us to win titles.
“I cannot wait to see him. He is a player who will demonstrate his talent in our team, in our league.”
But his former Dortmund teammate Marc Bartra, a former Barca youth team player, tempered expectations by insisting that Dembele must be given time to settle in.
“Dembele is a pure talent, it’s a great signing,” Bartra told a news conference while on international duty with Spain.
“I know this from everything he has brought us last year [at Dortmund]. He is a very good player but he needs patience.
“He is very young and he cannot be compared to anyone — Neymar is among the best three players in the world.”
Dembele spent the 2016-17 season with Dortmund, having moved from Rennes in Ligue 1 where he spent six years.
Ezekiel Azure Zion is a sports writer and a blogger who loves what he does.