Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele made a random appearance at the Stadium of Light last night, he was spotted spectating Sunderland’s Championship fixture against Sheffield United, and naturally, fans have been asking for explanations.
The ongoing campaign has seen the 25-year-old flourish under Barcelona manager Xavi, but his momentum was cut off as the France International added to his long list of injuries in January.
Dembele picked up a hamstring injury during a league game against Girona, one that put him on the sidelines for more than a month now.
His return from injury appears to be right on the horizon, but the forward is all set to miss the upcoming El Clasico fixture against Real Madrid.
With quite a bit of spare time on his hands, Dembele took to Tyne and Wear for a dose of English Football, but the question remains – What was he doing at Sunderland?
Ousmane Dembele pictured in the stands for Sunderland vs Sheffield
For a Frenchman raking in millions, who’s accustomed to the Sunny beach fronts of Barcelona, a visit to cold, wet, and comparatively dingy Sunderland would’ve hardly been anybody’s first guess.
But yet, Dembele was spotted in the director’s box alongside a friend, looking on as Sheffield picked up a 2-1 victory over the home side.
The Black Cat’s majority owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus accompanied Dembele in the director’s box for the game, leading to lighthearted speculation surrounding a potential move to the Stadium of Light for the Frenchman.
Needless to say, this remains highly unlikely, as the reason for the forward’s attendance has all to do with his friendship with Sunderland’s owner.
Ousmane Dembele and Kyril Louis-Dreyfus’s friendship explained
Kyril, a member of the affluent Louis-Dreyfus family, acquired a ‘controlling’ stake (41%) in Sunderland back in 2021.
The following year saw the 25-year-old increase his stocks to 51%, and hence, he became a majority stakeholder in the club.
Aside from majority ownership of Sunderland, Kyril has a 5% stake in Olympique De Marseille, the club previously owned by his father Robert Louis-Dreyfus.
His family tree includes several other intriguing members, including Julia Louis-Dreyfus of ‘Seinfeld’ and ‘Saturday Night Life’ fame.
His links to Dembele date back to more than 5 years ago, as he struck up a friendship with the forward through a mutual acquaintance in Benjamin Mendy.
The France International’s Instagram account even houses multiple pictures featuring Kyril, with this one captured 5 years ago in Miami being one of them.
This won’t come as good news to fans hoping that the forward’s presence had something to do with a future transfer, but given their friendship, that door isn’t entirely closed either.
If a move to England is indeed on the cards for Dembele, we imagine that Leeds United would be ahead of Sunderland on the shortlist, since the Frenchman is known to be a Leeds fan.
Nevertheless, Ousmane Dembele’s friendship with Kyril Louis-Dreyfus might just be the deciding factor, at the very least, it got him to visit Sunderland.