Barcelona have addiction fears over £85m Liverpool and Arsenal target

Date published: Monday 19th November 2018 12:57

Barcelona are worried that one of their forwards has an obsession with video games, according to a report.

Ousmane Dembele joined Barca in August 2017 for an initial £96.8m, but has struggled to establish himself in Spain since.

Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea hold a reported interest in the winger, while Barca told reporters to “ask Liverpool” when asked about speculation surrounding Dembele last week.

Dembele has struggled with injury since joining from Borussia Dortmund, starting just 26 of a possible 73 games in all competitions.

But according to Spanish outlet AS, there is ‘particular consternation’ at the Nou Camp due to the player’s apparent gaming disorder.

They claim that while Dembele has a history of ‘minor episodes of poor time-keeping or carelessness’, last week saw him miss training because of ‘an evening of video games’.

Dembele reportedly ‘lost track of time’ while playing games with a group of friends, and ‘forgot to set his alarm for the following morning’. He subsequently overslept and missed the session, telling the club that he was suffering from a “sore stomach”. But when Barca sent a doctor to check on him, he ‘had now fully recovered from his alleged illness’.

The ‘repeated nature of such displays of lack of discipline’ has now become a cause for concern at the club, who believe ‘he needs more help keeping his daily routine in check’.

But Barca feel this is a deep-rooted problem. They fear that Dembele suffers from ‘gaming disorder’: an addiction which requires professional treatment.

 

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