Opinion: Tottenham’s biggest mistake of the season came in January

Image: SpursWeb

Tottenham Hotspur have done remarkably well this season, all things considered, as they have battled against stadium delays, a lack of transfers, and mounting injury lists.

Unfortunately, injuries are an aspect of the game that clubs have little control over, short of maintaining fitness and managing rehabilitation.

Despite reaching their first ever Champions League semi-final last month, Tottenham were unable to field their best central midfielders due to injury.

Harry Winks had just undergone groin surgery, and Moussa Sissoko had only just made it back in time to make the bench.

The likes of Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier have also had stop-start seasons this year due to various illnesses and injury problems.

If only Tottenham had one extra body in their ranks to provide cover, class, and experience.

Spurs haven’t bought a single player in around 15 months, but they still took the decision back in January to sell Mousa Dembele, rather than letting him leave on a free in the summer.

Dembele had been a permanent fixture in Pochettino’s midfield since the Argentine took over five years ago, albeit with injury problems of his own.

In hindsight, keeping Mousa on and managing his game time would have helped Tottenham in the long run.

Imagine if Spurs had been able to field Dembele against Ajax, or in any of the recent losses in the Premier League.

He had his problems with game time, but Dembele was a prized asset at Spurs, and the club should have kept him on to play a bit part role and leave the club a hero.

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  1. Yes kept him or signed a replacement. Winks and Sissoko have been brilliant, but Dier and Wanyama can’t step up. Midfield has been our weakest area. The club will need to sign two central midfielders without a doubt. We really lack creativity in that area. Since Winks got injured, we’ve not scored many goals. We got ourselves knocked out of both domestic cups when our squad was struck by injuries. You can’t win CL or PL with our thin squad.

  2. In total agreement, especially with the low amount Dembele was sold for i think it was around £8m, Levy being a tight arse under Lewis’s instructions nearly had the club imploding, we would have had a nice new shinny stadium with no players and a Europa league to play in, the lack of depth in the squad has come back to bite us viciously in the backside, having the raging Llorente as at one point the only cover for Kane is madness, Jansen should have been developed at a slower pace with more time to fit into the EPL, with another centre forward in place of Llorente, another solid defensive midfielder was required when Dembele was wrongly sold and in hindsight with Trippier and Auriers performances another speedy right back as we have never replaced Walker, Gaziniga has not impressed many times when Lloris has been out, so may be another keeper, the players that should have been targeted were De lght and De Beer both Ajax, but i feel that boat has now sailed, Next season is going to be very tough if we lose the 3 to 4 players that have been suggested may move on along with the manager.

    • I totally agree with every word you’ve said we want to be a big club on the budget spurs it’s like a version of Ryanair my advice is if they can’t spend the money than sale the club we’ve got all the infrastructure needed I’m certain someone will buy the club as soon it goes for sale.

    • Who else would have paid £8m for an ageing, injury prone, player? Carroll and Welbeck will go on free transfers as did Wilshere because their clubs let their contracts run down. Dembele had just over year outstanding on his contract. He could have gone for nothing next year and how many games would he have played in the meantime due to injuries? £8m was a great price for an injury prone, ageing, player who wanted to leave for a big, big, salary in China. He would have turned down any European club who wanted him.

      Unfortunately your comment is just hindsight. And we can all be right with hindsight. Foresight is what you need and not many football fans possess that.

  3. This is what Dembele wanted and it has worked out well for him. Injuries and off form from international matches have hurt Spurs this Spring. Dembele is not the answer to an injury prone side. Pochettino is not going anywhere. We are still likely to sign new contracts with Alderweireld and Eriksen. Spurs problems this season have nothing to do with trades and acquisitions. The club has suffered badly from overstretching our players to play international matches. International coaches “USE UP” their borrowed players without conscience. National teams should all be “over 30” players. We would still see recognizable stars without using up our best club team players.

  4. If the reports are true that we were offered Tielemans on loan in January ahead of Leicester and turned it down, someone needs to be shot.

  5. It is reported we were offered Tielemans in January, if this is true and we turned down the opportunity someone needs the backside kicking at best.

  6. we have been papering over the cracks very successfully all season — firstly the fall out from the world cup and the subsequent difficulty for so many players to get back to their normal high standard and subsequently the spate of injuries left mauritio with the bare bones of a squad —
    very clearly if we are to seriously challenge for the premiership next season then we need to let go about 5 players and recruit the same number but they will need to be players that can really add to the team — players like zaha, grealish, hector herrera etc and it is of no use to talk now about someone like madison –we looked at him when he was with norwich and did nothing
    meantime all best wishes to the boys for wed. night –i do believe that we can do it

  7. Dembele was injury prone. Spurs have too many injury prone players in their squad. If another midfielder had been signed then he would have had to replace someone in the squad because you’re only allowed so many players in your squad. And who’s to say a new midfielder would have fitted into the Spurs team quickly? As Sanchez and Fred have proven at Man Utd just because you’re a star in another team doesn’t mean you will be an instant success elsewhere. In fact the chances are you will take time to adjust and may never!

    Anyway look at West Ham, Arsenal and Man Utd. They have had as many, if not more, injuries than Spurs this season. They also have injury prone squads. In fact the greater demands on players these days because of the greater intensity means injuries are more common than in the past.


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