Les Ferdinand: We told Dembele he'd be next to play for Real Madrid

Mousa Dembele

Tottenham Hotspur legend Les Ferdinand has revealed what he would say to motivate Mousa Dembele.

The Europa League clash between Besiktas and Tottenham Hotspur had only played a few minutes before a blackout meant the players had to abandon the field of play.

Both sets of players were led back down the tunnel and ITV's cameras went back to the studio where a panel of Les Ferdinand, Gordon Stracham, Kevin Ratcliffe and Matt Smith had to fill the time delay.

Their analysis brought them to the subject of Spurs' Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele, who Les Ferdinand coached in two of his six years as a member of the club's backroom staff.

The retired ex-striker made some comments about what they would say to the hit-and-miss midfielder in order to motivate him.

Ferdinand said: "We used to think that he would be the next player playing for Real Madrid.

"We used to say to Dembele 'you're the next player to go to Real Madrid from this club' but you just never saw enough from him."

These are quite remarkable comments from the Spurs hero and initial reaction to his comments from fans hasn't been positive. 

Gareth Bale and Luka Modric have been the two high profile men to make the switch to the La Liga giants in recent times, and some Spurs fans on Twitter believe that telling players they could go onto play at Madrid just emphasises their small/medium club mentality.

Since joining Spurs from Fulham for £15 million in August 2012, Dembele hasn't gone onto become the player his potential suggested. Having only made eight ineffective appearances for the club this season Dembele has become a second string player in Mauricio Pochettino's side, and many suspect his White Hart Lane stay could soon be coming to an end.

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