Andre Villas-Boas did a lot of things wrong when he was the manager of Tottenham, but one thing that he certainly did right was sign Mousa Dembele. The Belgian midfielder, who moved to Tottenham back in 2012, has since been a mainstay, and under Mauricio Pochettino, in particular, he’s done tremendously.
For a while, he was the centrepiece of the manager’s plans at Tottenham, and whilst he has lost his significance somewhat as of late, his importance to the team remains.
So, the news that he could leave upon the expiry of his contract, which has been reported by Calcio Mercato, is a real worry for Tottenham.
Though there is an argument for him departing the club, namely given his age and injury record, it’s hard to suggest that losing Dembele would be a good thing for Tottenham.
After all, the Belgian is still a very important player for the club. He started 21 games last year, whilst he’s started 7 this term, and so whilst he’s no longer a player that plays every minute, he still retains a real role within the squad. The reason for that is quite obvious – he still has a lot to offer. He’s still a fantastic passer, whilst he still retains his brilliant ball retention. He’s no longer quite as agile, but he is able to cover that somewhat by making the most of his intelligence with and without the ball, and so whenever he’s played, he’s normally directly involved in everything through the middle of the park.
Tottenham aren’t blessed with midfield depth, too, and so without Dembele, they’re down to only the likes of Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks through the middle.
Sure, Tottenham could spend big and land a foreign talent, but that would be a significant financial decision. In midfield, especially given Dembele’s importance, they wouldn’t be able to sign a young player with potential, as they’ll need someone to come in and fill a gap immediately. So, as a result, they’ll have to spend big on world-renowned talent, and given their stadium move, do they really have the resources to do something like that? They haven’t in the past, and it’s hard to see that changing.
Is Dembele the ideal player for this team? Certainly not, but the Belgian still has bags of talent, and right now, he could be the best option for the Lilywhites.