Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembélé is set to travel to Qatar for treatment on his hamstring injury, which is expected to force him into ten weeks on the sidelines.
The Frenchman picked up the injury after jumping to control the ball in the recent 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, and he is now not expected to return until February 2020 as he looks to recover from yet another setback.
To try and speed things up, Barcelona have confirmed on their official website that the winger will split his recovery time between both Qatar and Spain, similar to Samuel Umtiti in late 2018, who travelled to Qatar for help with a knee injury.
Beginning on Sunday, Dembélé will alternate between the
"Now he is calmer after the injury, [but] he was seriously affected, especially by the repetition of the muscular injury. We’ll try to cover for the loss with players from the B team, who are responding at a good level. He was in a good mood and the other day was a fatality.
“It’s clear that when he arrived here two years ago, he had to get used to the Barça style and fit in here. It is true that he was improving, [being] calm, training well. He is important and it’s an unexpected setback."
The players from the B team who are likely to benefit from Dembélé's absence are Carles Pérez and Ansu Fati, both of whom are still seen as reserve players, despite their repeated involvement with the senior side.
Finally, Valverde was asked why he felt Dembélé had such a long history of injuries, but the boss admitted he had no idea about the entire situation.
“I’m not a specialist in muscle fibres," he said. "I say that everything comes from the first injury. I do not have a concrete idea. He is a very explosive player."