Belgian midfielder admits he was stunned to get the international starting nod from Marc Wilmots after his recent troubles at Tottenham.
He has been benched in recent weeks in the Premier League, featuring in cup matches instead, coming on as a half-time substitute in the 2-1 loss to Stoke City on Sunday.
Despite his own troubles, Dembele has been named as a starter by Belgium manager Marc Wilmots for their upcoming game against Iceland on Wednesday night, with the manager taking the unusual step of naming his side in advance.
While the game is a friendly, he admits to being shocked at the decision, due to his recent lack of minutes.
He told Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblade: "When I heard that, I was a bit surprised. I come from Tottenham with little action and need match rhythm."
Asked to discuss his feelings about Spurs poor form, Dembele was sensibly diplomatic, and thinking positively - to the media at least.
He said: "I do all I can in the minutes I get and try to take my chances. The tide can turn quickly, I remain positive."
Dembele has made only two Premier League starts all season, and come off the bench only five times. Even in the Europa League he has just two starts and one substitute appearance.
His prospects do not look good, amid reports Mauricio Pochettino wants to have a shake up of his squad, unless, as he suggests, there is a sudden and most unexpected turnaround.