FC Barcelona has announced that their new signing, forward Ousmane Dembele, could miss up to four months worth of fixtures after sustaining his injury to his thigh.
The French international will also miss France’s final two World Cup qualifiers away to Bulgaria and at home to Belarus in October, as Les Blues look to hold on their top spot on group A of the UEFA qualifiers — which guarantees their automatic qualification into the World Cup finals in Russia next summer.
Dembele, 20, who became the second most expensive player in the world after Neymar when he joined the Catalan side from Borussia Dortmund this summer, sustained the injury on his full La Liga debut against Getafe on Saturday.
Barca have since issued an statement on their official website, saying: “The tests have come back and show that Ousmane Dembele has ruptured the tendon in his femoral bicep in his left thigh.”
“The player will be operated on by Dr Sakari Orava in Finland this week. He is expected to be out for between three and a half months and four months.”
Dembele was making his first league start for Barcelona and his third overall, after coming on as a substitute in a 5-0 league win over Espanyol, started the 3-0 Champions League victory over Juventus on Tuesday and lasted 29 minutes against Getafe.
Getafe led early on through a wonder goal from Japanese International, and Barca, after losing Dembele, was forced to rescue the game through two second-half substitutes, with Denis Suarez levelling around the hour before Paulinho won the game late on.
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said that the game was proof Barca could subvert pressure amidst difficult circumstances, and was happy to see two substitutes make such a vital contribution.
“The opposition put us under pressure but this comeback reinforces our belief that we are indeed capable of reacting to difficulty,” he said. “It is important for them as individuals, it gives them both confidence, whilst also showing that our squad is deep and we have many players who can help us.”