Rennes’ eighteen-year old striker, is the new target of several European sides like Tottenham, Arsenal, Chelsea, Milan and Barcelona. His latest hat-trick against Nantes, labelled the french teenager as the new Ronaldo, for the versatile wonder kid is currently in blistering form. The youngster netted already nine goals in seventeen appearances for his club and it doesn’t seem to be the end of it.
So who is this season’s wonder, who has taken Ligue 1 like a hurricane? (oops ! sorry Spurs fans!!!)
Ousmane Dembélé is a player of Brittany’s club Stade Rennais FC but he also played for France’s -U17, -U18 and -U19 teams. Rennes’ Youth Academy is one of the best and Dembéle’s name one more on the very big list (Sylvain Wiltord, Yohan Gourcuff, Stephane MBia). Ousmane was born in Vernon, France(17/05/1997) ; his height is 1.77m( 5ft 9in) and weighs 61kg. The Frenchman started his youth career at AL Madeleine Evreux( 2004-2009) then to Evreux FC (2009-2010) and finally signed to his current club in 2010.
ALM Evreux, his first club, was in the Madeleine’s neighbourhood, a potential trouble area but after playing for five seasons he joined Evreux and a new passion, futsal where he showed many skills especially against players older than him. A year later he joined Rennes’ training centre, despite other offers like Malherbe de Caen and Le Havre AC.
During the Academy years Dembélé shined with Les Bleus, (France Youth teams) and with his club, winning the Best Player Trophy.( 13 goals in 18 games).
June 2015: Ousmane and three other youngsters ( Namakoro Dialo, Jérémy Gélin and Denis- Will Poha) joined the pros but as the club weren’t too keen to sign the teenager a professional contract, infuriated the player’s entourage: Dembélé refused to go to Rennes’ summer camp thus waking up Red Bull Salzburg and Benfica Lisbon scouts. Rennes stood strong and refused the transfer, at least untill 2017. Will they? There’re several clubs willing to pay the requested price of £8 Millions and even more !
October the 1st 2015, the player signed a three-year professional contract and made his début vs SCO Angers, replacing Kamil Grosicki. The rest is history, as his hat-trick vs FC Nantes in front of Barcelona’s scouts “his heart club”. After all his favorite player is Neymar !
Ludovic Batelli, manager of France’s -U19 thinks that Dembélé is fluid, quick and capable to play right or left because he’s good on both feet( specialists cannot define which one is better from the other), but he must play faster and not overdo in front of the goal. Too much dribbling and too much individualism, but that’s the Youth’s prerogative, isn’t it ?
Mikael Silvestre( World Cup 2006 finalist) claims that Dembélé can be one of the Top Ten young players and compares him to a young Ronaldo when the future Ballon d’Or joined Manchester United.
Here they are :
1) Ousmane Dembélé is the best -U20 goalscorer(9 goals) in the five big European championships.
2) At only 18 years and 9 months he’s the first french young player to score a hat-trick since Jérémy Menez with Sochaux (18 and 8 months).
3) He scored the most quick goal only 56 seconds since the beginning of the game.
4) 17 games (13 start) 9 goals, 3 assists
Here’s the player’s highlights :
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