After losing their star winger Neymar Jr. to French giants Paris Saint Germain this summer for a record-breaking fee of approximately $263m, Barcelona was obligated to replace him if they wished to remain competitive, both in Spain and Europe.

Before Neymar was even presented in Paris, the press was already linking Barcelona with close to a dozen players they were supposedly chasing to fill the gap, but the weeks went by and the spot remained vacant.

The Catalans were indeed in the hunt for their man, but not only was it difficult to identify a player who could compare to the Brazilian remarkable talent, but other clubs were reluctant to sell their most prized assets.

One of Barça's targets was Liverpool’s, Philippe Coutinho. But the pursuit came soon to an end after the Reds rejected multiple offers close to the $100m mark all throughout the summer, proving they were unwilling to sell the star at any price.

Barcelona signs Ousmane Dembélé

Almost a month later, and with less than a week to spare before the Spanish transfer window closed, they managed to secure the signing of 20-year-old Ousmane Dembélé at the staggering fee of around $125m, plus $49m in add-ons.

Although there was much debate about the youngster hefty price tag, everyone agreed that the transfer was necessary if Barcelona wished to keep their aspirations intact, considering the hyperinflation seen that has plagued the transfer market over past couple of years and the fact that the Frenchman is currently one of the hottest talents in the sport.

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The unimaginable happened

However, nobody could’ve predicted the huge blow the Blaugrana’s would suffer, when last Saturday, having only played 122 minutes for his new side, Dembélé would be forced to the bench in the first-half of the victory against Getafe due to a nasty injury.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde still didn’t know the severity of Dembélé’s injury when he spoke after the match had ended. When asked about the injury he said: “It's a shame because he was just getting up to scratch with the team's dynamic.” He added: “We hope he won't be out for a long time."

Unfortunately, all hope of a speedy recovery vanished when the club released an official statement claiming he “ruptured the tendon in his femoral bicep in his left thigh.” This means the player will have to go under the knife, which will see him sideline “between three and a half months and four months.”

Dembélé was spotted on a wheelchair as he travels to Finland, where the surgical procedure will be performed by Dr. Sakari Orava. Orava specializes in muscle injuries and has successfully worked in the past with professional players such as Thomas Vermaelen and David Beckham.