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Dembélé, in a state of grace: “He is a more mature player, more accomplished. Better”

The unfortunate injury of Lucas Hernández, condemned to be out of action for more than half a year, reduced the focus of France’s defensive imbalance in the first goal that received against Australia. Ledkie was able to cross only due to the misfortune of the French winger, but on the other side Goodwin finished off alone, without the mark of Benjamin Pavard, who had moved towards the center, nor of Ousmane Dembélé, who was the one who had to make that help to his winger as right winger.

Was he partly to blame? “He corrected two defensive mismatches well against Australia”, interceded for him his coach, Didier Deschamps, in the preview of the second game of the world champion, this Saturday (5:00 p.m.) against Denmark. He exercises the protective shield coach, after having recognized minutes before that his players had made four serious defensive errors, two for losing the ball in delicate areas and another two “in which we would have to defend better.”

The team structure designed by Deschamps for this World Cup breaks with the inertia that had followed in recent times. In 2018, France was world champion with Kanté, Pogba and Matuidi populating in the center of the field and he repeated his bet in the Euro Cup last year, changing Rabiot for Matuidi. Against Australia, on the other hand, he started with only Tchouaméni and Rabiot of pure midfielders.

Three midfielders

This modification forces the line of three midfielders to increase their defensive work. Among them, Dembélé, the one chosen to complement Antoine Griezmann (center) and Kylian Mbappé (left) on the right. And excelling at shoe work was never the greatest virtue of the Barça winger.

“But he has made a lot of progress in that aspect, to a large extent because the club he plays for also demands it,” Deschamps remarked, pointing to the work of Xavi Hernández, who in some games (or sections of them) has come to use Dembélé as a kind of winger, with three central defenders behind him.

The data from the debut against Australia indicate that Dembélé lost nine balls, less than his teammates on the line (29 from Mbappé and 13 from Griezmann) despite playing 13 minutes less than them. And he also shone in the duels at grass level, winning six of the eight he played. (3/11 for Mbappé and 3/4 for Griezmann).

Its evolution

“He has had several injuries in recent years, but now he is an important player. The day-to-day demands at Barcelona have also made him better. We see him as a better, more mature and more developed player.who retains an incredible ability to damage opposing defenses thanks to his speed and verticality,” Deschamps continued.

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Before, he did not have a lifestyle like the one we could imagine. I have been without injuries for a year and a half and there is also a point of age and maturity off the pitch. There have been many changes in four years”, acknowledged the footballer himself a couple of days ago at a press conference.

If he maintains his defensive rigor, beyond some occasional oversight, he will continue to be a basic piece for a France that wants to continue against Denmark (perhaps with the return of Varane) to his good start against Australia. Because in attack, Deschamps has no doubts: “He already knows that I prefer that he concentrate his efforts on the opposite part of the field, because he has a lot of capacity to do damage.”

Source: Elperiodico

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