Ousmane Dembele needs to prove that he wants to play for Barcelona, according to Rivaldo, who says the Manchester United-linked winger has yet to justify his €105 million (£95m/$123m) price tag.
Barca paid big-money to bring an emerging talent to Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017, after seeing talismanic winger Neymar complete a world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Dembele was expected to fill the Brazilian’s boots in the final third alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but was ultimately unable to hit the ground running at the start of his career in Catalonia.
Rivaldo has challenged Dembele to knuckle down and become a key part of Koeman’s plans after the failed move to United, with it his belief that the talented attacker is capable of having a big impact if he “takes responsibility” on and off the pitch.
“Ousmane Dembele rejected a move in the transfer window. That wouldn’t be a problem if he were playing regularly but that’s not the case as he continues to get injured or miss training schedules and that’s not good,” the ex-Barca forward told Betfair.
“He is an excellent player but he needs to prove that wants to play and take responsibility. The club paid a lot for him and they aren’t seeing any return from that yet. Let’s see if he can show the commitment that he’ll need to become an important member of Koeman’s squad.”