Xavi Hernandez quickly got Barcelona back on track last season, but this summer he decided to set the bar even higher. The Cules were aggressive in the transfer window, recruiting new talent to challenge for silverware this season.

Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha, Jules Kounde, Andreas Christensen, and Franck Kessie have made their way to the Camp Nou as the club intends to get back to the top after a rather lackluster campaign.

Barca started the 2022-23 season on the right foot, but it wasn't just because of their new signings. Xavi got the best out of many players who were already on the squad. For instance, Ousmane Dembele has turned up his game so much that his coach has already drawn parallels between him and Neymar.

Ousmane Dembele draws comparisons with Neymar from Xavi

"[Ousmane] Dembele is in excellent form," Xavi said following Barca's 5-1 win over Viktoria Plzen on Matchday 1 of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League group stage, via Barca Universal. "He’s happy. He’s enjoying himself, and he’s very important to me. He assists and he scores. He’s like a dagger, and we have to take advantage of that.

Dembele is at the same level as the best Neymar. He had suffered a lot in his first years here, but I always said it. He has great abilities, and he deserves everything that is happening to him.

There are no wingers in the world that can cut inside to both sides like Dembele can. I had never seen a player with his ability to dribble 1v1. You rarely find players like that. Trust me, he’s an amazing player.”

Xavi has proven to be a huge admirer of Dembele since day one. In fact, the manager played a pivotal role in convicing the Frenchman to sign a new contract with Barca this summer. Now Dembele is finally delivering the kind of performances everyone expected to see when the club spent $137.50m for him in 2017.