Stats: Does Dembele need to start for Spurs more often?

Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Dembele made his first league start under Mauricio Pochettino in yesterday's draw, but does he need to feature more regularly?

Dembele was brought into the Spurs starting lineup in the Premier League for the first time this season as he replaced Nabil Bentaleb for the trip to Sunderland, and the Belgian midfielder looked impressive in the middle of the park.

The 27-year-old has fallen out of favour in recent months but he made the most if his chance at the Stadium of Light yesterday, and he will hope to stay in the side going forwards.

Tottenham will be disappointed with the result as they had plenty of chances during the game, but Dembele's performance in the heart of midfield was a major positive.

The Belgian offers Spurs something different in the middle of the park as he is always looking to carry the ball forward after winning back possession, whereas the likes of Etienne Capoue and Nabil Bentaleb are more likely to move the ball on to a more creative midfielder.

Dembele's ability to take the ball forward creates space for those around him and his powerful presence in the Spurs midfield is vital.

  TeamPosGoalsChances CreatedTotal Scoring AttAccurate PassWon ContestWon TackleInterceptionTouchesAppsMins
Mousa Dembélé Spurs MF 0 1 1 69 2 4 1 88 1 90

He broke up play early on to start the move which saw Spurs score the opening goal of the game, and he created one chance during yesterday's game, whilst also crashing a thunderous strike against the woodwork.

He is often criticised for not shooting enough and not scoring enough goals, but he looked lively yesterday and will be pleased with what was an encouraging display.

  TeamPosGoalsChances CreatedTotal Scoring Att / appsWon Contest / appsAccurate Pass / appsWon Tackle / appsInterception / appsTouches / appsAppsMins
Nabil Bentaleb Spurs MF 0 3 0.67 0 54.67 1.00 1.33 71.00 3 208
Etienne Capoue Spurs MF 0 2 0 0 84.50 1.25 2.75 106.25 4 360

Bentaleb and Capoue have been the regular starters in midfield so far this season, but neither of them has taken on a player in any game, and Dembele offers Tottenham so much from a deep-lying play-maker role as a result.

Bentaleb is a player with so much potential, but Dembele must be involved more often for Spurs in the league, and should replace the Algerian, though the added competition from Benjamin Stambouli should keep all the midfield enforcers on their toes.


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