Another piece of the Tottenham jigsaw – Moussa Dembele

As there are just two days left of the transfer window, Daniel Levy is finally making his moves. Tottenham fans are used to this. The Media are used to this. Other chairmen are becoming used to it. It’s as if he sets himself a challenge of trying to do as many deals as possible in the shortest possible time.

There is a logic to his mad genius, however, and this time he has managed to sign Fulham’s Moussa Dembele for half the price that Real Madrid paid for Luka Modric. And more surprisingly was it only seemingly took little under 24 hours.

Of course, there are differences between the two but signing a Modric replacement, a quality Modric replacement at that, for half the price is great business by the Spurs chairman. With money left over to strengthen in other areas expect, as usual, Tottenham’s transfer dealings to come down to the last 10 minutes of the window. Maybe even beyond that if the fax machine is playing up again!

So, what exactly will Moussa Dembele bring to Tottenham?

It was quite apparent in Tottenham’s opening two games that they missed Luka Modric’s craft and intelligence. Modric’s ability to bring the ball out from deep and open up the field was integral to the way Tottenham played. Dembele is similar. He lacks the passing ability and vision of Modric but excels in retaining possession, dribbling out from deep and using the ball intelligently.

Dembele has been Fulham’s creative heartbeat this season. Running the show in their 5-0 demolition of Norwich and earning rave reviews for his display against Man United. Alan Hansen on Match of the Day described him as being, “head and shoulders above everyone else on the pitch.”

He was quite frankly, brilliant. His awareness and positioning against them make it hard to believe that he is, infact, a striker converted to the midfield role. His ball retention was excellent, misplacing few passes, and he had more successful dribbles than the United team put together.

His stats last season showed him as one of the most accurate passers in the Premier League with an accuracy rating of over 88%. More than the Croatian maestro, Luka Modric.

One thing he does give Tottenham which Luka Modric didn’t, however, is a lot more defensively. He was the best midfield tackler last season, in both success rate and tackles attempted which highlights his defensive qualities, and his sheer strength is a massive bonus. A midfield of Dembele next to Sandro will be quite a formidable pairing.

The departure of Luka Modric left a gaping hole in the creative force of Tottenham which Moussa Dembele will be hoping to fill. He doesn’t bring the vision or passing ability of the Croatian but is blessed with outstandingly quick feet, positional awareness and a far greater ability to defend. He will be able to intelligently dictate play and keep it ticking over in much the same way the Croatian did.

With a must win home game against Norwich on Saturday, Tottenham fans will hope that Dembele will be able to have some sort of impact and help guide them to three points. They’ll also hope that the window finishes with a bang and the squad is adequately strengthened. Though, if this is anything to go by, it’s looking extremely likely to be an exciting end of window.

Selling Modric for £32 million and signing a quality replacement for £15 million?

Great piece of business.

 

Written by William Hold

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