Tottenham supporters have been making a lot of noise in recent times after seeing their team take a step closer to the Carabao Cup final on Tuesday night.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into the first leg of their semi-final clash against Chelsea off the back of thrashing Tranmere Rovers 7-0 in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday night, and thus seeking to continue their winning momentum when Maurizio Sarri’s Blues visited Wembley. And Spurs did just that as a Harry Kane penalty in the first half secured a narrow 1-0 success for the North London club, thus giving them a slender advantage to take into the return leg at Stamford Bridge in two weeks’ time.
As such, there have been many delighted Tottenham fans up and down the country in recent times, although it does look as though those supporters will be waving goodbye to midfielder Mousa Dembele this month, what with reports suggesting that the club have accepted a bid from Beijing Sinobo Guoan for the 31-year-old.
It was former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas who lured the Belgium international to North London back in 2012 for just £17.1 million (as per Transfermarkt) – a figure that has proven to be a bargain down the years, with current manager Pochettino very much indebted to the Portuguese chief for equipping him with a Tottenham gem.
Ultimately, 31-year-old Dembele made the move to White Hart Lane six-and-a-half years ago as new boss Villas-Boas sought to replace Real Madrid-bound Luka Modric, who sealed a big-money move to the Bernabeu just a day before the Belgian ace made the move across London from Fulham.
But given just how impressive he had been during his two-year stint at Craven Cottage, Spurs were seen to have pulled off quite the coup in landing him for just £17.1 million – a figure that has certainly proven to be a steal given the level of performances the midfielder has produced during his time in North London.
The 31-year-old immediately became a regular in the Spurs team with in excess of 40 appearances in all competitions in his first two seasons at the club, but it was following the arrival of Pochettino in the summer of 2014 in which Dembele lifted his level once again to become a vital member of the Argentine’s squad.
Be it his 26 Premier League appearances in the 2015/16 season as Spurs finished third behind Leicester City and Arsenal, or indeed the 29 league games the campaign after in which he struck up a formidable midfield partnership with Victor Wanyama to inspire Tottenham to second place in the table, Dembele has more than proven his worth during his time at the club.
In fact, the Belgian star has been widely regarded as one of the most underrated central midfielders in the division throughout his time at the club given his adeptness at doing everything required of a midfielder at Premier League level, be it tenacity and an excellent reading of the game on the ball, or indeed making driving runs and showing composure when on the ball – Dembele has it all.
Yet injuries have somewhat stunted his time at Tottenham in recent years with just ten Premier League appearances to show for his endeavours this term, and with his contract up in the summer, it’s hardly a surprise that he looks set to leave the club this summer.
But that shouldn’t detract from what an excellent servant he has been to the North London club over the years, with Pochettino very much having Villas-Boas to thank for equipping him with a Tottenham gem.
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