Former Barcelona midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng has described old team-mate Ousmane Dembele as a “small child” who constantly needs guidance.
Dembele has failed to live up the expectations and had his attitude questioned ever since arriving at the Nou Camp from Borussia Dortmund in a £105million move two years ago.
The Frenchman was linked with a summer move to Paris Saint-Germain as part of a deal that would see Neymar return to Barca, but Dembele was reluctant to make the move and opted to stay put in Spain.
Now Boateng, who endured a disappointing loan spell with the Spanish giants last season, has lifted the lid on life playing alongside the controversial figure.
And in damning comments, the former Tottenham midfielder has suggested that Dembele was handed too much at a young age.
“Dembele is like a child for me. You need accept him for what he is,” the midfielder told Bild.
“Yeah, he might arrive late for training now and again. There are players who do it on purpose but he’s different. He’s always like a little child.
“The problem, and this isn’t just about Dembele, is that young professionals earn far too much money. An 18-year-old shouldn’t be earning €4million per season.
“And if they do earn that, the money should be immediately reinvested so they see as little of it as possible. For me, he’s still a boy swimming in a giant pool. He suddenly cost €105m and still doesn’t know how everything works.”
Despite scoring 14 goals and providing eight assists last season, the France international has found himself under scrutiny with questions over his attitude and fitness.
The player reportedly angered staff and players by missing a training session last November before turning up late to another a month later.
It it his off-the-pitch antics and his fitness troubles that has led to uncertainty over his future at the Nou Camp – and this latest incident raises further doubts over his long-term future at the Nou Camp.