Why it is time for Tottenham to cash in on Mousa Dembele

The Belgian has been linked with a surprise move to Chelsea this summer, but seemingly has no place in the Spurs starting XI.

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele was linked with a surprise £12 million move to Chelsea last month by The Independent and it remains to be seen just where the Belgian midfielder’s future lies.

ESPN ran a story this week claiming that the former Fulham man would be seeking out assurances from Mauricio Pochettino over his role at White Hart Lane, but it appears that Dembele will not get the regular first-team football he craves at Spurs.

The 27-year-old is undoubtedly talented and his individual skill has been there for all to see since he moved to Tottenham in 2012.

However, in Mauricio Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1 formation, signs are there that Dembele will more often than not be on the bench.

Central midfield pairing Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason matured together last season, and despite a dip in form from the latter, will surely be the Argentine coach’s first-choice pairing again in 2015-16.

Dembele has operated in this role during his time at Spurs, but has given the White Hart Lane faithful countless scares by trying to beat opponents in dangerous areas and losing the ball.

Although he has strong upper body strength and a good range of passing, Dembele’s individualism has seen him guilty of trying to do too much in his own half and as such he is more of a risk than an asset to the team when he plays as a midfield anchor.

Pochettino did experiment with Dembele in the number ten role at times last season, where the Belgium international’s performances were markedly better.

There is a real argument to suggest his longevity in this role in the Spurs side, but with Christian Eriksen the undoubted creative talisman at the club, Dembele is destined to be a back-up option, becoming frustrated and underused.

If an offer of £10m+ is on the table this summer Spurs would be wise to accept, even if it is from a Premier League rival.

Despite him being a good option from the bench, another season on the fringes and closer to the end of his contract would only see Dembele’s value drop.

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