France is still shocked by last minute injury of Karim Benzema. The current Ballon d’Or holder was part of the attacking line, alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezman. As the current World Champions start their journey with the aim to defend the title, Ousmane Dembele will have a more important role for France. Despite the fact Benzema is a striker with different characteristics, the FC Barcelona wingeris set to replace him in the starting lineup.
According to L’Equipe, “Ousmane Dembélé can benefit from the absence of Karim Benzema from the World Cup. The man from Barcelona, who started in the last friendly, has the cards to play against Australia.” L’Equipe also admits that “the loss of Benzema revives Olivier Giroud. But it is in the short term, an ‘opportunity’ for Ousmane Dembélé, because the Barcelona player, very often affected by physical issues throughout his career, knows the pain of staying on the road as it happened to him in Euro 2021”. Deschamps, who in his day did not hesitate to publicly criticise Dembélé for his behavior, also appreciates the change he made in Barcelona. Giroud counts on the memory of his contest in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He’s a center forward, which brings him closer to the role that Benzema played. However, the Madridista is not as classic a 9 as the striker from Milan.
A loss as sensitive as that of Benzema joins the injuries already confirmed previously: Like Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante. However, France continues to have significant potential. Integrated in Group D, France hopes to break with the myth that a world champion is left out in the group stage in the next edition of the tournament.Their rivals in the group would be Australia, Denmark and Tunisia.
Dembele will be ready
Dembélé is enjoying the full confidence of Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona. Due to the conviction of the Culé coach, the internal reluctance that existed in the club last season dissappeared. The French extended his contract, although under very peculiar conditions. The 25-year-old French winger only signed until 2024 with a termination clause of 50 million euros. This price is certainly affordable for the elite European clubs, if he manages to have a good World Cup. When his contract with Barça ended, no club appeared to take him away at the moment of truth. Not even with the advantage of not having to pay a transfer fee. But a World Cup where he will live up to the expectations from him can change the very skeptical perception towards him in the world. Dembélé feels very comfortable with Xavi as coach, but the World Cup, for him, practically only offers advantages, as soon as things go well for him sportingly. This season he has contributed 5 goals and 5 assists in Barça. And last season he finished as the top assister in the Spanish League.