Dembele's moment to shine!
The sight of Messi on the ground and crying in pain is never a pretty sight, especially if you're a Barca fan. Pin drop silence, hands on the heads, the concern became real when the club confirmed Messi had fractured his radial bone and will be sidelined for around three weeks.
This is a crucial period for Barcelona as the club have been handed a tough run of fixtures that includes Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, the Classico on Sunday, followed by a return match against Inter in Italy at the start of next month.
Out steps Ousmane Dembele, the Frenchman has struggled to completely integrate himself into the team due to injuries and lack of Valverde's trust.
Dembele's talent and potential is never in doubt. He is the most obvious replacement for the Argentine on the right of the front three, where he is most comfortable, rather than on the left, where he has often been made to adapt so far.
Of course, there is "The curious case of Malcom" who may also benefit from Messi's absence, as he has barely featured for the side so far. But Dembele will be the first in line to start and the next three weeks will be make or break for Dembele's future at Barca, The winger needs confidence. He needs to feel important. His moment has finally arrived.
Now, the Frenchman must take advantage of Messi's absence to justify the club's investment.