Tottenham have largely been known as a nearly team and Mousa Dembele has mostly been a nearly man in his stint with us so far. Against a spirited Sheffield United, Dembele was the heart beat of everything that went through our midfield. Eriksen’s virtuoso display was always going to earn him the headlines but that should not overlook the contribution the Belgian made. It’s no wonder his departure in the second half coincided with our midfield debilitated and the team conceding two soft goals shortly after.
The popular narrative has been to label Adebayor as the enigma but Dembele is also in the category if we are to be honest. For a man bestowed with so much ability it’s been hard to fathom why he has not kicked on to become a game changer and a mainstay in the side. No doubt injuries have been a major factor in Mousa’s career at the lane and if he can stay injury free, there’s no telling how far this powerhouse can go.
The pessimist will bemoan it was only against Sheffield United! But this is a team that has put five premiership teams to the sword already. The fact Dembele dazzled against the so called minnows should not take the shine away from his glowing performance. He is the perfect blend of strength, engineer and artistry.
The question now is whether he can continue to boss our midfield and become a creative outlet in the final third. Playing him in the hole was a great plan that paid dividends. His versatility becomes an inevitable downfall to his own talent when he gets played as a defensive midfielder. Yes he can do that job because there’s a lot of flexibility in his game. But surely we need to play this man further up the pitch where he can create the kind of space that the likes of Chadli, Eriksen and Kane will thrive off? An offensive Dembele will always be more of an asset to us then a defensively deployed one.
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