Ousmane Dembele reportedly showed up late for Barcelona training yet again on Sunday, apologising to the team staff and working on his own for the rest of the day.
According to RAC1 (h/t AS' Moises Llorens), Dembele was two hours late for Sunday's training session.
A similar incident occurred a few weeks ago, when the France international couldn't be found for five hours. He ended up training alone on that occasion and was sent to the stands for the match against Real Betis―only to arrive late at the stadium to watch that fixture, per Marca's Xavi Hernandez.
Sunday's incident came just days after team-mate Nelson Semedo told ESPN (h/t Mundo Deportivo, via Football.London's Rob Guest) the former Borussia Dortmund man is "totally committed" to the Blaugrana. Per Guest the issues have led to transfer speculation, with Arsenal said to be interested.
Football blogger Jonas Giaever thinks Dembele's attitude is becoming a major problem:
Jonas Giæver @CheGiaevara
Being reported in the Catalan press that Ousmane Dembélé arrived two hours - TWO HOURS - late for practice AGAIN today. Has happened before, and he seems to not learn. Talent and potential is endless, but he's turning into a problem for Barcelona. Valverde needs to make a choice.
The 21-year-old is one of the most exciting young attacking talents in the sport and ranks among the team's most expensive signings of all time.
He has flashed his immense potential on several occasions and scored a wonder goal against local rivals Espanyol on Saturday, drawing praise from sportswriter Sid Lowe:
He also added an assist, making it four straight matches across all competitions in which he has either scored or assisted, per WhoScored.com.
Consistency was an issue prior to that run, however, and the perceived attitude problems have led to criticism. Richard Fitzpatrick of Bleacher Report outlined some of the criticism, which came from team-mates as well as reporters.
His frequent tardiness will only add to the criticism. It shows a lack of professionalism that is unacceptable at the highest level, even for a youngster still finding his place at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Sportswriter Lee Roden wondered whether more great play could help people see past his late arrivals:
The Catalans have enough talent to move on without Dembele if these issues persist, however. Don't be surprised if he's benched again for Tuesday's Champions League visit of Tottenham Hotspur.