While relative bargains such as Michu and Claudio Yacob will be in contention for signing of the season come May, it is hard to argue against the inclusion of Moussa Dembele on that list, despite his £15 million price tag.
The in-form Belgian is instrumental to Tottenham, who struggled to win without him when he was injured, and now he has returned to the team renewing his partnership with Sandro in central midfield.
He returned to former club Fulham on Saturday, and left Craven Cottage smiling as his side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners through a goal from Sandro and a double from Jermain Defoe.
Here is a look at just how effective the Belgian was by looking at his performance from a statistical point of view:
- Despite being substituted, he touched the ball more times (83) than any Fulham player, and any non-defensive Spurs player. (Only Naughton and Vertonghen had more).
- Dembele completed more passes than any other midfield player (68)
- Dembele's passing accuracy of 91 per cent was the joint best on the pitch of any player to feature past 65 minutes. Sandro had the same percentage but made less passes (57). Kerim Frei of Fulham completed 93 per cent of passes, but made just 15 and was substituted just after the hour.
- Dembele attempted more long balls than any other midfield or attacking player (8), with seven of these finding his target. Berbatov with six attempts and five completions came closest to matching him.
- Only two players made more combined tackles and interceptions than Dembele, which were Sandro and Fulham's Steve Sidwell.
- Dembele's most telling contribution was his assist for Sandro to score the game's opener, a key turning point in the match.
An overall picture of Dembele's effect on Tottenham:
- Dembele attempts more passes per game than any other midfielder. He also has the best passing accuracy of any of the club's attacking players.
- He doesn't just tap the ball around in his own half either; 87 per cent of his passes in the opposition's final third have found a teammate.
- Dembele's overall tackling rate is 84 per cent, which betters that of his Fulham days - 75 per cent.
- Here's the key one: With Dembele in the team, Tottenham have won 85 per cent of their games this season; Without him they have won just 20 per cent.
So what do you make of Dembele? Is he as important to Spurs as the stats suggest?
image: © mikehamm