First and foremost, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele is a tremendous footballer. Ask a player at Spurs the best player in their squad and, nine times out of ten, the answer will come back as Dembele.
It is why there has been such concern over the apparent likelihood of him being sold this summer, with his contract talks at the club falling apart.
But based on the performance of the Tottenham man against France yesterday, perhaps it is time to move on.
Dembele spent much of last season getting the better over his midfield rivals. But last night he was no match for N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba. France won 1-0 and Dembele was eventually hauled off the pitch by Roberto Martinez.
He looked sluggish throughout the game and failed to find any rhythm.
For some the reason was clear. Apart from the England game, which was essentially a ‘B’ team game, Dembele has not had a look in at the tournament. He came into the Belgium team for a suspended Thomas Meunier but came in cold. His rhythm was not up to scratch and the Spurs star therefore struggled.
But many Tottenham fans saw similarities in this performance and that of Dembele in the FA Cup semi-final v Manchester United. Lethargic, wasteful and blunt it is not what Tottenham have become used to from the dynamic midfielder.
So perhaps this summer it is the right time to let Dembele go. At least that is what some fans are now saying on Twitter as Belgium crashed out of the World Cup…
Have to be honest on this performance of Mousa Dembele versus France and when you also remember his FA Cup performance against Man United.
— Ricky Sacks ? (@RickSpur) July 10, 2018
Based on this semi final and FA cup final, we’re already in the post-Dembele era #thfc
— Tommy Corona Jr. (@OFFICIAL_TSCJR) July 10, 2018
Why did Dembele start? He has t started all tournament bar 1 game right? Hes a rhythm player. Madness
— Hamid (@HamidTHFC) July 10, 2018
Dembele has been poor today
— Christopher Jenkins (@JenkinsTHFC) July 10, 2018
Dembele about to cost his team getting to another final
— Leo (@LeoTHFC_) July 10, 2018
Dembele is no longer a Dembele
— Carl (@CarlTHFC) July 10, 2018
Pretty accurate assessment of Dembele at this point of his career. Unfortunately, his ability to perform at ? will only diminish at this point. Hate to see him go, but finding a replacement for him really should be a top priority for the club. #COYS #THFC https://t.co/rU3W93Tmr4
— Tottenham Hotspur World (@WorldHotspur) July 10, 2018
— ReasonWins (@CrticalThnkng) July 10, 2018
— Crooked Monkey (@Edwin_Mills) July 10, 2018
— DiamondLights (@Sunny_Yid) July 10, 2018
It’s tough for Dembele, hardly played this tournament, and expected to step up in the semi-final, he’s a shadow of his normal self
— Raf (@Raf_THFC) July 10, 2018