FC Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele was able to win back at least some of the fans at the Camp Nou when he made his first home appearance on Thursday since being ostracised by the club earlier this year. The French forward was brought in as a substitute during Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Napoli in the Europa League, and he was able to get some fans to warm up to him again.

During the winter transfer window, it became clear that Dembele was not interested in accepting Barcelona's contract extension offer. The club wanted him to find a new club as soon as possible in order to free up space in their wage bill. His refusal to leave despite the presence of lucrative offers irked the club, and he was dropped from the squad and appeared to be destined to spend the rest of the season without a single minute played.

However, manager Xavi Hernandez appears to have had a change of heart. After several weeks away, Dembele returned to the squad in the Catalan derby last week. On Thursday, he faced the home fans in the first leg of their Europa League clash against Napoli.

As expected, the Frenchman was subjected to boos and jeers as soon as he started to warm up on the sidelines. He was brought in to replace Adama Traore in the 63rd minute, and despite the hostile reception from the home fans, Dembele kept his head down and let his game do the talking.

He showed off the quality that he still clearly has, and immediately created an attacking threat. Barcelona fought hard to find a winner, and some fans started to see how hard Dembele was working on the pitch. Soon enough, some of the jeers turned to cheers, but unfortunately, the Blaugrana could only manage a draw for their efforts.

Nevertheless, it was a clear indication that Dembele is still committed to giving his best while in a Barcelona shirt. Likewise, Xavi is not going to punish the player for his transfer decision, and seems likely to treat him as he would any other member of the squad.

It is still a mystery if Dembele already knows what he will do once his current contract with the Catalan giants run out at the end of he season. Barcelona president Joan Laporta is convinced that the player already has an agreement with another club, but the player has remained mum about the situation.

Ousmane Dembele
Ousmane Dembele Cristian Trujillo/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images