In a rich and wonderful world of many footballing Dembele’s, the one creating the most column inches of late is Moussa.
No, not Tottenham’s former midfield destroyer, nor the 19-year-old forward who plays in Austria’s third tier, nor is it the midfielder currently plying his trade for Senegalese side AS Pikine.
It’s the fella who plays up front for Lyon. He used to play for Fulham and Celtic. With the beard?
Have you got it? Good.
After impressing in Ligue 1 this season with 16 goals in 27 games, the striker is attracting the interest of some well known clubs. But which of them is he most likely to end up signing for? 90min gazed into our crystal ball to try and find out.
Several things would need to happen before Arsenal contemplated bringing Dembele to the Emirates Stadium in the summer.
The board have already implicitly conceded that any incoming transfers would have to be funded through player sales and, to be honest, the club already boasts impressive strength in depth up front.
For the Frenchman to arrive then, either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette would have to be sold as this would create money to spend and positions in the starting XI to fill. The perfect storm for a Dembele shaped transfer saga.
The only stumbling block would be convincing the 23-year-old to sacrifice Champions League football as Arsenal seem unlikely to break into the top four before the end of the season.
As stumbling blocks go, this is a biggie. Good thing Mikel Arteta seems like such as dashing, sweet talker then. The Spaniard is going to need to pull out his best schmoozing to broker this deal.
Liklihood Rating: 4/10
One of the reports doing the rounds of late suggested that Lautaro Martinez’s likely departure for Barcelona in the summer would spark a chain reaction of transfers across the continent.
The story goes…Inter’s desire to replace Martinez would lead to them raiding Arsenal for Lacazette, who in turn would plunder Lyon for Dembele. But hey, what if Antonio Conte just skips a step and snaps up Dembele himself?
He doesn’t quite the fit the bill of the sort of signing that Conte has fancied since taking over at Inter – mainly because he’s not a slightly washed up Premier League full-back – but he did enjoy a brief spell in the English top flight which is bound to get the Italian’s heart beating quicker.
It is not outside the realm of possibility that Dembele would be a well suited replacement for Martinez either. Key to Inter’s success during the first half of the season was the partnership the Argentine struck up with Romelu Lukaku.
Though Dembele has largely played as a loan striker during his career so far, he been deployed in a front two on occasion. Lukaku as the link man and the Frenchman as the penalty box prowler is an exciting concept that could take Serie A by storm. Will it happen though? Maybe, maybe not.
Likelihood Rating (If Martinez Stays): 4/10
Likelihood Rating (If Martinez Leaves): 6/10
Chelsea were desperate to secure Dembele’s signature back in January with their fervorous interest leading Lyon to take the unprecedented step of issuing a public ‘hands-off’ statement – that was almost certainly aimed at the Blues.
It seems Frank Lampard has not been deterred by this setback though with the club continuing to sniff around the striker.
It’s easy to see why Chelsea are so keen on the 24-year-old as well. Though Tammy Abraham has been a revelation this season, the club lacks depth at striker. Olivier Giroud may have performed the U-turn of the century by penning new terms at Stamford Bridge but Michy Batshuayi’s days are surely numbered at the club.
Dembele would be a perfect complement for Abraham. He is equally strong in the air, possess a similar willingness to work hard for the team and is also adept at operating as a lone striker. Like we said before, it’s easy to see will Chelsea are so enamored.
Likelihood Rating: 7/10
Although it has largely worked out okay, Manchester United’s mad deadline day dash to sign Odion Ighalo back in January starkly exposed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s need for offensive reinforcements.
While a deal for Jadon Sancho is quite likely – and quite exciting – United could do with a more conventional forward to relieve some of the pressure from Marcus Rashford and an unproven Mason Greenwood.
This is where Dembele comes in. There’s talk that a €70m (£61.9m) deal has already been agreed between the two clubs and while this seems to be a little bit premature, negotiations are believed to be at an advanced stage.
The Frenchman finishes better than any of the current crop of United forwards and his goal numbers have improved year after year. He also fits the Solskjaer blueprint of being young with a point to prove, making this a very intriguing and likely match.
Likelihood Rating: 8/10