Dembele topped off a heated London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea by gauging Diego Costa’s eye during a melee on the touch-line between the two sets of players.
Writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson condemned Dembele’s actions and believed the incident was worse than former Liverpool man Luis Suarez biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.
“What Dembele did was terrible. It’s worse than Luis Suarez biting Branislav Ivanovic because he could have had Costa’s eye out. In rugby they give you long bans for that and he deserves everything he gets because that was bad,” Merson wrote.
Dembele has subsequently received a six-game ban by the FA, four less than Suarez for his biting incident.
It means the Belgium international will miss the final two matches of the season against Southampton and Newcastle United, plus another four games at the beginning of the ensuing campaign.
While derbies are often heated and riddled with controversy, Spurs’ actions have been heavily criticised in the media and by a number of observers who felt they let their emotions get the better of them.
It’s another learning curve for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, and it shows there is plenty of fight in their ranks.