Xavi Hernandez decided to bring on Ousmane Dembele with 20 minutes to go during Barcelona’s Catalan derby at Espanyol on Sunday night, with the score at 2-1 in favour of Los Periquitos.
Following the whole drama that came with his decision to neither leave the club in January nor renew his contract, Dembele was frozen out by the club.
Dembele was dropped from Barcelona’s squad before their Copa del Rey tie against Athletic Club and hadn’t featured in LaLiga Santander since his team’s 1-1 draw away at Granada on January 8.
The club were against allowing Dembele to play for Barcelona again, but Xavi seems to still have him in his plans, as he demonstrated against Espanyol.
Xavi stressed after the game against Atletico Madrid that he didn’t use Dembele because of how the game changed after Dani Alves’ sending off.
The former Borussia Dortmund forward was handed his opportunity at the RCDE Stadium after coming off the bench to replace Jordi Alba in a game that ended in a 2-2 draw. -Marca