Ousmane Dembele's Agent Denies He Flew to Senegal After Barcelona Defeat

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIAugust 20, 2019

BILBAO, SPAIN - AUGUST 16: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between Athletic de Bilbao v FC Barcelona at the Estadio San Mames on August 16, 2019 in Bilbao Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ousmane Dembele's agent, Moussa Sissoko, has denied reports the French forward flew to Senegal after Barcelona's 1-0 La Liga defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Friday.

The Barcelona star reportedly covered up an injury suffered in the match and then slept on a sofa in Bilbao Airport before flying to Senegal for the weekend, according to Javier Miguel at AS.

Sissoko told Mundo Deportivo (h/t AS) that the reports are untrue and spoke about the player's condition after the match.

"It's not true, he didn't travel to Senegal. He was in Rennes in his mother's house. I assure you 100 percent," he said. "After the game, he thought they were cramps."

Barcelona announced on Monday that Dembele will miss the next five weeks after being diagnosed with a hamstring injury:

FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona

FC Barcelona player @Dembouz has been diagnosed with a strain to his left hamstring, and is set to miss the next five weeks with the injury https://t.co/I5zJTcsz5e

Dembele played all 90 minutes against Athletic at San Mames. An 89th-minute winner from Aritz Aduriz saw the champions open the defence of their La Liga title with a defeat.

The injury comes at a bad time for Ernesto Valverde's side. The club were without captain Lionel Messi for the match due to injury, while Luis Suarez picked up a problem and was forced off:

FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona

❗@LuisSuarez9 has a muscle injury in his right leg. He will have more tests tomorrow to determine the exact extent of the injury. https://t.co/Yn1PkLKaii

Dembele's injury leaves Barcelona light on options in attack. The club sold Malcom to Zenit St Petersburg in August and have seen Philippe Coutinho join Bayern Munich on a season-long loan:

FC Bayern München @FCBayern

♦ 🔟 ♦ 👉 https://t.co/tL54ePMvzH #ServusCoutinho https://t.co/qJMNJ3du3a

The injury is also a further setback to Dembele in what has been an injury-interrupted time at Barcelona. He has been sidelined for long spells in his first two seasons and faces more time out of action.

Football writer Zach Lowy detailed how many games Dembele's missed for Barcelona:

Zach Lowy @ZachLowy

By the time Ousmane Dembélé returns from his current injury, he will have missed 263 days and 44 games due to injury during his time at Barcelona.

There is no doubting Dembele's talent when he is fully fit, but the amount of injuries he has suffered since joining Barcelona will be a source of frustration for the club and may test their patience.