Barca injury woes deepen as Dembele joins Messi and Fati on sidelines

David Ramos

Barcelona’s growing injury list has been added to with forward Ousmane Dembele ruled out of their game with Getafe on Saturday with a thigh issue.

The 22-year-old French winger has only played a game and a half in La Liga this season due to a hamstring injury, but did manage 45 minutes in the recent 2-1 win over Villarreal.

However, a club statement confirmed he was suffering 'muscular discomfort' in his left thigh, meaning he joins Lionel Messi and teenage sensation Ansu Fati in being out of contention for the Getafe match.

Messi was taken off during the Villarreal clash, which had been his first game of the season, while Fati is suffering from a knee issue.

With Barca struggling to find their form so far this season, an injury headache in attack is one problem manager Ernesto Valverde would love to do without.

He has come under intense pressure from fans and sections of the Spanish media with his side underperforming on the road and in Europe.

They sit seventh going into the Getafe fixture, with two defeats already inside just six games, while they had goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to thank as they came through their first Champions League match with a goalless draw at Borussia Dortmund.

Things are unlikely to get any easier in the coming weeks, as Barca host Antonio Conte’s Inter side in Europe before hosting Sevilla in La Liga.

Inter have notched five wins from five in Serie A and will be in confident mood heading to Catalonia.

For Dembele, meanwhile, it is another personal setback as he struggles to make good on his obvious potential in the spotlight glare of Camp Nou.

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He only played 90 minutes twice in La Liga last season and didn’t manage the feat at all in the Champions League, though he still finished the campaign with 14 goals and nine assists in all competitions.

However, the feeling around the former Borussia Dortmund man is that there is more for him to do before he can consider himself to have justified his huge transfer fee from the Bundesliga side.

With Messi and Fati both out, the Getafe game could have provided a useful chance for him to stake a claim for a starting spot.