Ousmane Dembele is seemingly determined to douse his doubters at the World Cup this winter.

Dembele has divided opinion ever since he moved to Barcelona for a whopping £135m in 2017.

Across half a decade of service in Spain, the forward has frustrated fans, managers and pundits alike.

His talent is unquestionable: it’s the consistent usage of gift that grinds many a gear.

Photo by Ion Alcoba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The 25-year-old’s dour injury record has certainly not played in his hands.

But all the absences, and off-field dilemmas, there is a genuinely terrific footballer buried beneath.

Thankfully for Dembele’s and the neutral admirer’s sake, his full form is coming back to the surface.

He has already scored five goals and provided a further seven assists for Barca this season.

Strong club showings ensured he got the call-up to the France squad for the World Cup in Qatar.

Despite the abundance of quality available to Didier Deschamps, Dembele has muscled his way to successive starts at the tournament.

He impressed on matchday one during the 4-1 victory over Australia, where he provided the pass for Kylian Mbappe’s strike.

Dembele dances at the World Cup

Deschamps called upon the Camp Nou winger again for Saturday’s showdown with Denmark.

Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

France eventually secured the win through an Mbappe brace, and Dembele was once again hailed for his own efforts by the country’s own media.  

“Very fair technically, symbol of a player in full confidence, he regularly provoked Maehle with his dribbling. Precise in transmission, like this magnificent cross for Rabiot (21st), his defensive involvement (5 balls recovered) is also commendable. Irresistible, he was at the origin of all the good tricolor shots,” wrote Footmercato.

Le10Sport were in a similar voice, saying: “Ousmane Dembélé has matured and it shows! The FC Barcelona striker gave the Danish defense a nightmare in the first half. Constantly in provocation, Dembélé could have offered several assists if his teammates had been more successful.”

This very much sounds like the player Chelsea reportedly repeatedly tried to sign in the summer.

Photo by Lionel Hahn/Getty Images

Thomas Tuchel was apparently an advocate for adding Dembele to his squad, having managed him at Borussia Dortmund.

Tuchel did not get his wishes, however, as the wicked winger decided to stay at Barca, having initially been broiled in a contract dispute.

"Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produced regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League. Nathaniel is a full-time writer for the Chelsea Chronicle, and was formerly their social media man. His footballing career reached the sparkling heights of winning the Under-13s Bloxham Tournament in 2011."