Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says everyone at Camp Nou is working hard to get the best out of troubled France international Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele, who joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund for an initial €105 million in August 2017, has had his professionalism called into question this season with reports suggesting he regularly fails to arrive on time for team meetings while also staying up late to play video games.
Dembele has not started a LaLiga game since the 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao on September 29 and is likely to be among the substitutes once again when Barca visit fellow title-challengers Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
“He’s a member of my squad and we’re all trying to help get the best out of him,” said Valverde.
“We want him to put his talent on the pitch. Last season he missed a lot of games through injury, but these type of players, with his talent, are hard to find.
“There’s pressure on every player to play and he finds it hard to get a place in the team.”
One player who could have been lining up for Barca on Saturday is Antoine Griezmann, who spurned reported interest from the Spanish champions in pre-season to remain at Atletico.
“Antoine is a great player and in big games he tends to appear,” added Valverde.
“He’s a player we need to consider [on Saturday]. I imagine we’ll see the best of him, although we hope not.
“Atleti are getting the best out of him and we will need to stop him.”