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What is the role of Mousa Dembele for Tottenham moving forward?



Despite having a key role in the successful Tottenham Hotspur side over the last couple of seasons, Mousa Dembele is – by a distance – one of Spurs’ oldest senior players, and while his experience has proven invaluable in helping to mentor youngsters such as Harry Winks, one cannot help but feel that the Belgian’s role in the current Spurs setup is going to be limited to one or two seasons maximum beyond this May. He’s frequently substituted at around 70 minutes for the aforementioned Winks, who has been an emerging star this

He’s frequently substituted at around 70 minutes for the aforementioned Winks, who has been an emerging star this season and has failed to dominate games in the same way he did last campaign so effectively. Whilst some of this must be attributed to the change in dominant formation – from a 4-2-3-1 where Spurs’ successes hinged on Dembele’s performances, to a 3-4-2-1 less dependent on any one player – the dip in form must be cause for concern for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

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Last season, Dembele was the league’s best box-to-box midfielder, and by a fair distance too. In the 4-2-3-1, where his ability to pick the ball up from deep and use it to create space or find a pass were key to breaking sides down, he excelled. Pochettino even said back in August that “Tottenham do not exist without Mousa Dembele”, after being held 1-1 against Liverpool.

However, the performances of Victor Wanyama have gone a long way to ensuring that the Spurs midfield does not rely on Dembele. Tall, powerful, and physically strong, the duo complement each other perfectly, with Dembele’s offensive guile adding to Wanyama’s immense defensive prowess. That Spurs are no longer so reliant on the Belgian must be a good thing, but with a midfield partner four years his junior in the Kenyan international, and eight years in Winks, it would surprise nobody to see Dembele forced out of the team should he get injured or if his performance levels are not maintained.

Nonetheless, Dembele remains a vital asset. The Belgian trio, of himself, the infallible Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have looked nigh-on impassable at times this season, and Dembele is blessed with talents few other players in the world have. Perhaps his biggest shortcoming is a lack of goals, but with the abundance of attacking talent elsewhere in the team, this is minimised – especially from deep.

What stands out about Dembele’s performances is the number of successful take-ons he achieves from the centre of the park – between March and September 2016, he completed 31 – THIRTY-ONE – successive dribbles, a feat unmatched by any other player in the league. From defensive midfield, this is a ridiculous statistic – and it reveals just how well he’s able to protect the ball.

Possession-based buildup play is the Pochettino ideal in the offensive third, and Dembele fits the bill in this regard. Furthermore, 29 is by no means old, even in football terms, so there is theoretically no reason why he shouldn’t be able to maintain the high-energy press, for example, that is required of him in the current setup.

Naturally, the argument could be made that if Spurs were to receive a big-money bid – especially from a team outside England – that it would make sense to move him on; if current performances are anything to go by, it looks like Winks is ready to step up, so Spurs could afford to lose Dembele. With ridiculous amounts of money flying around in China, a big boost to the transfer kitty for Mauricio Pochettino’s side could allow the Argentine head coach to bring in some super-star names – especially if they finish in the top four for the second successive season.

The likes of Isco Alcarcon and Mateo Kovacic have already been linked with Spurs, by The Sun and Mirror, respectively, and a player like Dembele could well reach a fee of £60million in China – especially in a league where Hulk and Oscar reach similar fees. If such a bid came in, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the club accept. After all, it makes sense to sell one player to bring in two younger – and possibly better – ones. However, with the undeniable importance of Dembele to the current side, it would have to be a huge bid to tempt Daniel Levy and Pochettino to sell one of their best players.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by gastonbaranov

Josh is a blogger who has been writing about Spurs for over a year. He's an avid sports fan, and is devoted not just to Tottenham Hotspur but to football as a whole. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brownyyy26, and comments or questions are always welcome.

English Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen could be one of Premier League’s greatest ever bargains

Christian Eriksen is getting better by the season and cost Spurs just £11.5 million.



This week has seen Arsenal legend Martin Keown singing the praises of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen. Speaking on BBC One’s Match of the Day (18th March) Keown stated:

“This player was always technically proficient, but he’s getting better all the time. It’s top level ability. He can pick a pass whenever he wants to. He just has everything.

“I enjoy watching him play. He wants to work, that’s part of the team ethic. He’s becoming the brains of the team.”

His comments came after Eriksen starred in the weekend win v Swansea City. The Dane scored twice as Tottenham booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final courtesy of a 3-0 triumph.

during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at Wembley Stadium on December 9, 2017 in London, England.

Keown then commented on the price Spurs paid for Eriksen back in 2013:

“I think they paid £12.5 million for him, that’s an absolute snip.”

Spurs snapped up Eriksen from Ajax, for a fee actually reported by Sky Sports to be in the region of £11.5 million.

Looking back now it is clear to see just how much of a bargain Spurs managed to bring in. Eriksen was approaching the end of his Ajax contract at the time, which did not help the Dutch side’s bargaining power.

Comparing Eriksen to his current contemporaries in the game it is clear to see just how incredible a deal this was for Spurs.

Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January. The Brazilian cost a fee reported by Sky Sports to be £146 million. Tottenham fans will rightly believe that Eriksen is at least as good as the Barca newbie. In fact, many will suggest Eriksen is the superior operator.

Another barometer to consider in this case is that of Tottenham’s summer signing Davinson Sanchez. The Colombian, like Eriksen, was signed from Ajax but four years on and with circumstances different cost much more.

Sanchez cost a club record £42 million, according to the Guardian. That is a difference of over £30 million which highlights just how impressive the fee paid for Eriksen is. In the world of £200 million transfer fees looking back at the deal for Eriksen nearly five years ago will please Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Tottenham will obviously hope they never have to sell the Dane. But if they did, the fee involved could easily amount to £100m-plus.

Which would certainly not be a bad return on the investment from Tottenham Hotspur’s point of view.

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English Premier League

Sessegnon or Bale? Past or future? Spurs must make right move this summer



Tottenham Hotspur appear to be emerging as the frontrunners in the race to sign Fulham talent Ryan Sessegnon this summer.

The Times reported in January that Tottenham had made a £25 million bid the summer previously, but that Fulham value the teenager at around £50 million.

On top of that, Spurs are also being linked with a sensational move to bring Gareth Bale back to North London. Spanish source Diario Gol has reported that Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer – and has decided a return to Spurs is his wish. Bale of course left Spurs for Madrid in what the Telegraph reported was a then world record £86 million fee.

during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Burton Albion at Craven Cottage on January 20, 2018 in London, England.

It poses a big question for Spurs’s chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mauricio Pochettino. Do they start a new future, or go back to the past?

Sessegnon has been consistently compared to Bale in playing style. Much of that is down to his left-back origin. A lot of it is also down to his obvious precocious talent.

Tottenham will no doubt not be able to afford both players this summer. So what do they do?

The arrival of Bale would be a dream comeback. However, the Welshman turns 29 in June and has suffered with consistent injury problems over the past few years.

EIBAR, SPAIN – MARCH 10: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between SD Eibar and Real Madrid at Ipurua Municipal Stadium on March 10, 2018 in Eibar, Spain . (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Sessegnon on the other hand is at the start of his career. The 17-year-old has already played nearly 70 professional games and scored 21 goals, many of those from left-back.

He would cost less than Bale and in the long-run would be a more stable investment. If Bale’s injury problems continued Tottenham could end up paying a larger sum for a player who cannot be relied upon.

Tottenham Hotspur should continue to look to the future in the case of Sessegnon or Bale. Bring in the Fulham star and hopefully reap the rewards.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Moroyin Omolabi released by Tottenham Hotspur one year after praise

The Nigerian defender briefly spent time on trial at Reading this year.



Nearly one year ago Tottenham Hotspur prospect Moroyin Omolabi was winning praise for his performances in the club’s youth teams.

After a win against Norwich City for the under-18s the Nigerian midfielder was given high praise by his manager John McDermott.

It came after he seamlessly dropped into a centre-back role for the game. Speaking to the official Tottenham Hotspur website after the game McDermott stated:

“Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good.

“There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.”

It seemed that the 18-year-old might, therefore, be a player to keep tabs on for the Spurs first-team one day.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

But despite impressing back in April of last year, it seems Omolabi has not progressed quite like Tottenham would have hoped.

In the most recent list of player registrations released by the FA the versatile teenager has been confirmed as released by Tottenham.

The 18-year-old left Spurs by mutual consent on the 27th February.

The teenager was a part of the UEFA Youth League squad for Spurs, but did not feature in a single game.

He played seven times in the Under-18 Premier League this campaign, scoring against West Ham back in October.

But after dropping out of contention at Spurs, the Nigerian spent time on trial at Reading – featuring in three games for the Berkshire club.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

His final game for Tottenham appears to have been the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in October.

His failure to launch at Spurs just highlights the strength in depth Tottenham have in their youth ranks.

The teenager will now face a hunt for a new team in the summer, with his Tottenham days behind him.

It will be interesting to see if Reading follows up their interest in the player but  Omolabi will now be on the hunt for a new team.

Hopefully, his education at Tottenham Hotspur will see him in good stead in his hunt for a professional career elsewhere.

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