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When Cobb first meets Yusuf in Inception and tells him he is seeking for a chemist to formulate a compound for the Fischer job, he says that he would also need to "go into the field" with them to tailor compounds specific to their needs.

However, once a group starts their shared dream, they cannot wake up until the time for the dream is over, especially if they are sedated. Yusuf will not be able to change anything about the sedative once the dream is in progress.

So why does Yusuf need to join them into the dream? Isn't it enough for him to tailor a sedative suitable for a 3 level dream and hand it to them?

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Someone had to drive the van. –  Bobby Alexander Apr 7 at 6:00
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1 Answer 1

Given his general knowledge of multi-level dreaming and the drugs needed to do what the team needed, he could prove to be a valuable asset in the dream world should something go wrong, such as being attacked by Fischer's subconscious projections because they were unaware he'd received mental conditioning to thwart extraction methods.

They likely could have used literally anyone who was willing to be paid enough, but Yusuf already had the general knowledge they needed, meaning they didn't need to train him like they did Ariadne (remember, time was of the essence). Why risk using someone new to extraction when you can pay someone who already knows what you need to make your efforts successful?

And, as Bobby noted, they needed a driver. The first level of the dream they concoct takes place in Yusuf's mind.

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