Barcelona defender Clement Lenglet has defended his country man Ousmane Dembele saying as long as he is performing well on the pitch all other things don’t matter. The France forward has received criticism for his discipline since moving from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 with outsiders suggesting he is wasting his talent.
Dembele has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot and has been linked with a move to Arsenal, although Lionel Messi recently urged him to stay. In his latest transgression, Dembele was two hours late to training on Sunday and, when asked about the tardiness, Lenglet told reporters: “I don’t have much idea about what is happening with him, but what I do know is that he is doing very well on the pitch,”
“I don’t know if [a punishment] is the right thing to do or not, you’d have to ask that question to those with the power because I don’t know if he has to be sanctioned. “He’s doing a lot of things well on the pitch. He’s playing very well for the team and that’s what interests me most about him.” Barca are having a strong season, sitting top of La Liga and are unbeaten in the Champions League. The Spanish champions face Tottenham on Tuesday evening but the game has little significance for them because they have already won Group B with 13 points from five games.
Lenglet insists the squad is fully motivated for the encounter though: “This game is still an important one for us because it is a Champions League game and you don’t play many of them in a year,” he continued. “You have to enjoy these games because they are a chance for you to play against the best in the world.
“We aren’t happy about conceding goals, though, and that’s a very important issue for us because we want to win things. “In recent games, we have suffered a little, but it is difficult to complete a full 90 minutes without having tough moments.”