Report: Ousmane Dembele Took 90 Minutes to Inform Barcelona of Stomach Bug

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 9, 2018

MILAN, ITALY - NOVEMBER 06: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona gestures during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between FC Internazionale and FC Barcelona at San Siro Stadium on November 6, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele reportedly waited an hour-and-a-half to notify the club of a stomach bug that caused him to miss training on Thursday.

According to RAC1 (h/t Sport), when the France international did not report for training on time, the club spent 90 minutes trying to contact him before finally getting through.

Barcelona then sent their club doctors to see him, and they confirmed he had gastroenteritis.

Dembele was able to resume training on Friday, albeit away from his team-mates, per ESPN FC's Samuel Marsden:

Samuel Marsden @samuelmarsden

Messi and Umtiti still going well in training ahead of Real Betis on Sunday. Dembele recovering from a bug, so trained alone this morning.

The 21-year-old arrived from Borussia Dortmund last year but spent half of his debut season on the sidelines with a hamstring injury he picked up shortly after his arrival.

The youngster has only completed 90 minutes once this season, but it's clear he's a part of manager Ernesto Valverde's plans, having made 15 appearances.

He has six goals and two assists in all competitions, and he also injects pace into the front three. That has been particularly useful in recent weeks while Lionel Messi has been injured.

Dembele is incredibly skilful and often bamboozles opponents with his trickery:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

See. You. Later. 👋 Dembele sends Vecino and Brozovic for a hotdog 🌭 Outrageous feet from the French phenom 🔥 https://t.co/fFx8azheV0

The forward's technical ability is aided by the fact that he's equally adept with both feet, which has also come in handy for him in front of goal, per Squawka's Jake Entwistle:

Jake Entwistle @JakeEntwistle

Ousmane Dembélé has now scored as many first-team league goals with his left foot (12) as he has with his right foot. 👣

The France international is still raw and in the process of developing his game—he will sometimes cause moves to break down by giving the ball away cheaply—but he has shown he can have a match-winning impact.

His illness could put his availability for Sunday's game against Real Betis in doubt, but if he's unable to feature, Valverde has the option of turning to Malcom in his stead.

Malcom, also 21, has played just 25 minutes in La Liga this season since he signed in the summer, but he grabbed a goal on his UEFA Champions League debut in a 1-1 draw with Inter Milan on Tuesday to stake a claim for further minutes.