Mousa Dembele was Tottenham’s biggest signing in the summer, bringing in the Belgium international from London rivals Fulham. With the North London club activating his release clause of £15 million, the midfielder has been considered as one of the most successful signings of the summer.
Despite the midfielder picking up a hip injury on international duty, which saw him sidelined for over a month, his return on Wednesday evening against Liverpool help to re-boost spirits at White Hart Lane.
Since he has been eligible to play under Villas Boas’ 4-2-3-1 formation, the midfielder has not lost a single game in which he has played. His first game saw him be introduced as a substitute against Norwich on the 1st of September, which resulted in 1-1 draw.
The midfielder has played 7 games for Tottenham in the Premier League, including his appearances as a substitute. Dembele has been on the winning side 6 times, drawing his first game at the club. This means that with Dembele, Tottenham have a win percentage of 85%, opposed to 20% without him (losing all the other games).
Whilst Dembele’s importance to the team is instrumental, it’s essential to consider that without Dembele, Spurs lost games against Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. But, Wigan’s victory at White Hart Lane shows emphasises the importance of Dembele,whose main traits are his headed clearances and steering the ball away from danger by dribbling through the opposing team.
So far this season, Dembele has played more defensively in comparison to his time at Fulham. Because of this, Dembele has won 69% of his ground-duals this season, 10% more than last season, despite putting in a challenge less frequently then at Fulham. As well as this, his overall tackling success rate is 84%, considerably higher than the 75% he achieved at Fulham.
But the penetration he brings to the team is arguably a feature of his which the fan’s enjoy seeing the most. In 498 minutes at Spurs so far, he has dribbled past the opponent 5 times. Whilst this is just over a third in comparison to his 16 at Fulham, this was from 2940 minutes at Fulham, almost six times the number of minutes he has played in the Premier League in a Spurs shirt so far.
His creativity is also a favourable asset of Dembele, who reunited with childhood friend Jan Vertonghen at White Hart Lane. This season, Dembele has assisted 2 goals, the same number he achieved the whole of last season. Whilst arguably this is down to the likes of Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe who are prolific goalscorers, he has also netted one goal himself this season. Only 1 off the total of last season too. Impressively, Dembele has only had one shot on target since joining Spurs, which was his only goal on his debut.
So, with Dembele coming into full fitness, it is a bonus for Tottenham to have their star man back. With the side being undefeated when Mousa plays, the club will do all they can to keep him fit. As well as this, with the side only 3 points off third place, they will be doing everything they can to make sure they get back into the top-four to reclaim the Champions League spot which was cruelly taken away from them last season.
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