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Tottenham must keep hold of their midfield majesty Mousa Dembele

Like a fine wine, the Belgian has grown better with age.

Max Cohen

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Mousa Dembele
Photo: Getty Images

Reports in the Telegraph last week claimed that Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele’s wish to extend his contract, which will currently expire in 12 months time, by three further years could lead to a breakdown in talks with the North London club.

To lose Dembele would be an absolute travesty, and Spurs would be wise to acquiesce to the Belgian’s wishes in order to keep their midfield mainstay at White Hart Lane.

The main issues over Dembele’s contract extension arise over his age, as the 30-year-old is seeking an extension that will keep him under contract until 2022. The Belgian will be 35 when that deal expires and is looking for six-figure weekly wages which Spurs are reluctant to fork out.

But Dembele is more than worth the show of confidence and outlay of money, as he is the perfect central midfielder for Tottenham’s style of play.

(Photo by Roland Harrison/Getty Images)

He has become simply vital to the Spurs cause ever since he joined from London neighbours Fulham in 2012, possessing a rare combination of brute strength and succulent skill that makes him one of the most effective midfielders in the league. 

One of the world’s most effortless players, Dembele has an incredible knack to dispossess opposition attackers by using his positional awareness and centre of gravity to outmuscle them. And when the Belgian wins back the ball, he can glide forward with pace and purpose, starting many an attack with his driving runs.

He has notched over 60 caps for his country, an impressive feat in a Belgian set-up loaded with world-class talent. Widely regarded as one of the world’s best defensive midfielders, his performances at Spurs have earned significant praise, from his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, to his fellow Tottenham players.

All rave about Dembele as a midfield genius, and as a member of the league’s midfield elite in terms of tackles and dribbles, it is not hard to see why he is so highly-regarded.

Spurs must do everything in their power to retain his services at White Hart Lane for many years to come.

Max is a journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football and co-hosts a weekly podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

Tottenham Hotspur

Harry Winks’ return to fitness is just what Tottenham need right now

Tottenham have been handed some much-needed good news.

Liam Thomas

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Harry Winks
Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham were handed some much-needed good news this week with midfielder Harry Winks returning to training after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Pochettino’s current options in midfield are extremely limited, due to injuries and the clubs’ lack of transfer activity during this summer’s window.

Therefore, Winks’ return couldn’t have come at a better time.

Although, it is unlikely that he will feature this weekend against Fulham, his return to full-time training suggests he will play a part in Spurs’ opening run of fixtures.

The return to action of Argentine Eric Lamela also brings some creativity and attacking flair to the Spurs midfield, which it seemed to be lacking in their opening day win at St. James’ Park against Newcastle.

However, the form Harry Winks displayed last season during his stint in Pochettino’s starting XI bodes well for the new campaign and, in a turbulent period for Tottenham and Pochettino, this news is refreshing, to say the least.

Winks’ return to the pitch is perhaps the best news Spurs fans have had in weeks, with the midfielder providing the ideal competition for Mousa Dembele, whose physical attributes are indeed on the decline.

The midfielder’s return will be a significant boost to the Spurs squad, and one that will lift some of the pressure off of Mauricio Pochettino‘s shoulders if the 22-year-old can come in and pick up where he left off last season.

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Fulham

One to watch: Ryan Sessegnon under the spotlight as Tottenham host Fulham

The teenager could be forced to play at left-back this weekend.

Max Cohen

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Sessegnon
Photo: Getty Images

Ryan Sessegnon’s Premier League debut did not go quite as planned.

The highly-rated 18-year-old, who took the Championship by storm the past two seasons was largely neutralised by Crystal Palace‘s Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and was denied space in the attacking areas where he is usually so dangerous.

It is still early days and it was by no means a poor performance, but revealed how the youngster must quickly adapt to the higher level of the top flight.

Sessegnon’s second ever Premier League match will come away at Tottenham Hotspur this Saturday and his performance at Wembley could go a long way in determining his success this season and later in his career.

Playing against the club he has so often been linked with will undoubtedly be difficult, providing a mental challenge that he is unlikely to have faced before.

However, perhaps the more challenging proposition will be in the footballing department. Fulham’s new left back Joe Bryan was forced off against Palace on the weekend with an injury, and is expected to be a doubt for Saturday’s fixture.

Without any true left back back-ups, Sessegnon will most likely be tasked with filling in at the left side of defence, instead of his preferred left wing position.

Against a fearsome attacking team such as Spurs, boasting the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, and Dele Alli, the 18-year-old could endure a baptism of fire in his first ever top flight start as a defender.

Sessegnon’s performance will also be illuminating as it could provide a glimpse into his future as an attacking left back– not as an out-and-out left winger.

“He is an incredible player project, with a fantastic physical capacity. People compare him to Bale, for me it’s a mix between Marcelo and Bale. I’ve used him lately in a more offensive role, but he’s ready to be left-back of a big team that constantly attacks.”

Slavisa Jokanovic speaking to Marca this summer on Sessegnon’s future position

According to his manager, Sessegnon could develop into an attack-minded defender for a ‘big-team.’

On Saturday at Wembley, Spurs supporters could catch a first glimpse of the youngster in that role in the Premier League – a role they will be hoping he can perform for the club in north London one day.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou clearly has no future at Tottenham Hotspur if Mainz deal goes ahead

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly ready to let Nkoudou go on loan.

Mathew Nash

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It appears Tottenham Hotspur are ready to let Georges-Kevin Nkoudou leave the club on loan before the end of the month. According to Sky Sports, Spurs are ready to let the winger join Bundesliga side Mainz until the end of the season.

The Frenchman, who cost £9.4 million in 2016, has failed to make an impact at Spurs and was loaned out to Burnley last season. So seeing him being shipped out again may not come as a surprise.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

However, Nkoudou has recently shown what he is capable of. The 23-year-old had a brilliant pre-season as Tottenham won the International Champions Cup. He was named man-of-the-match in the penalty loss to Barcelona, in which he scored. He also found the net against AC Milan in a 1-0 win. His form this summer was electric and led many to believe might have a chance at Tottenham this season.

So the fact he is being loaned out probably suggests one thing. Nkoudou has no long-term future at Tottenham Hotspur.

Even after an impressive pre-season and with Tottenham thin on the ground the young Frenchman has been told to pack his bags and head elsewhere.

This may only be a temporary deal, but it appears the precursor to a more permanent Tottenham exit. 

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