Tottenham Hotspur’s Mousa Dembele has been one of the most impactful midfielders in the Premier League and a large reason for Mauricio Pochettino’s Spurs success. So what’s the reason for the separation?
Dembele has proven he has the ability to be a one man wrecking ball in the midfield. He’s who we hope Franck Kessie might be one day. His Spurs teammates say he’s the most underrated piece to the puzzle, and I would have to agree. While everyone lauds the efforts of Dele Alli, Harry Kane, and Christian Eriksen - it’s easy to forget the man cranking the cogs that dictate the pace of Tottenham’s midfield.
“In my opinion Dembele - I think he’s very good,” Alli told Sky Sports when asked to name Tottenham’s best footballer.
”His feet are unbelievable. He’s so big and he shifts his body so easily.”
Graeme Souness also told Sky Sports he feels Mousa could be the best player in the squad.
‘The only thing missing in his game is he doesn’t score enough goals. He wrong-foots people, glides past people for fun, a wonderful talent. I know Harry gets all the headlines and Eriksen is a little craftsman as well but there’s a real argument there. I think if you asked Tottenham players who’s the best player at the football club, I think maybe the majority might go for Dembele.’
Mousa has had some wonderful standout performances this year. He was integral in Spurs 3-1 victory over Real Madrid at Wembley, as well as lead the line in the team’s first victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in over two decades. He an absolute boss in the midfield and never gives up on a play. He also has the ability to not disappear during big matches which is a shockingly rare commodity in football these days. In fact, his best performances are usually when he’s needed most.
So why are Tottenham willing to phase him out of their future plans?
Dembele’s injury record seems to increase every year, while the number of his starts seems to decline. Now at 30, that trend isn’t looking likely to buck any time soon. There have been rumors that he’s been playing on pain killers for most of the season and might be looking for something a bit less physically draining. With less than a year left on his current contract, Dembele is also looking for that one last pay day. Most of his teammates have seen new contracts and wage increases recently, with Moose and Toby Alderweireld being the exceptions. Both rumored to be speaking to clubs during the international break.
With the World Cup upon us, and Mousa being part of Belgian’s long list of stars, it’s unlikely anything will transpire before the final on July 15th. There are also a number of Italian clubs looking at the Belgian boss, including Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli.
What are Milan’s chances in nabbing the 30 year old midfielder? Probably pretty good if they are willing to pay. Daniel Levy is a notoriously shrewd negotiator and famous for playing hard ball with the sale of his players. Realistically, €30m should be enough to lock down the man with less than a year to go on his current contract. For wages, he’d probably expect to make €100k a week or so, as it’s rumored he’s currently pulling in €80k.
I can hear some of you screaming about his age and injuries, but considering the amount of youth and inexperience we currently have on the Rossoneri squad, I think the unique skill set Moose brings to the table could be vital for the club. Milan was susceptible to the counter all season long. Dominating in possession but consistently dropping points because our midfield would be caught out of position or unable to stabilize play. It’s a risk, but certainly one worth taking.