Mousa Dembele has told BBC Sport that he has no regrets at leaving Tottenham Hotspur last January to join Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F, despite Spurs reaching the Champions League final.
Dembele, who turned 32 earlier this month, clocked up 249 appearances for the north Londoners. But he opted to leave the club at the start of the year, after playing 13 times during the first half of the 2018-19 campaign.
Spurs sold the 82-time Belgium international for £13million (Guardian), and the former Fulham ace has since made 19 appearances for his new club alongside Dusko Tosic and Israeli duo Eran Zahavi and Dia Saba.
Asked if he regretted leaving Spurs following their progress to the Champions League final where they eventually lost 2-0 to Liverpool, Dembele stated that he has no regrets – and wished all his best to his old team.
“When I came to the club they were all laughing,” Dembele said. “But people who know me know I never regret my choices. Even if it’s a bad choice it’s a good choice for me because I made it.
“I was very happy for Tottenham because they deserve it and no-one works harder than them. As players they are very good guys so you want them to succeed. It’s a shame for me but I didn’t regret anything for one second.”
TBR’s view – Tottenham needed Dembele until summer
Ask most of Tottenham’s squad the question ‘who is the best player you have played alongside at Spurs’, and the majority will tell you that it is Dembele.
His strength, power, precision, stamina and technique were immaculate. He was a rare example of a central midfielder that would take players on successfully. Indeed, the decision to sell him in January was a strange one.
With Spurs only just bringing in his replacement in Tanguy Ndombele now, the north London club went six months without a midfield presence of Dembele’s kind. They should have kept him until the summer.