Pochettino lauds Dembele, indirect message to Townsend?

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The Tottenham Hotspur boss has been discussing the 28-year-old Belgian midfielder.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino says he is 'very pleased' for Mousa Dembele after the Belgian put in another impressive display for the north London side on Thursday night, according to ESPN.

Dembele netted the winner for the White Hart Lane outfit against Anderlecht, which was his second goal in two games.

And Pochettino has praised the playmaker for showing he deserves to play. Could that be perceived as an indirect message to Andros Townsend, the out-of-favour winger who appears to be unhappy with his lack of game time?

Pochettino is quoted as telling reporters: "If we analyse him last season, part of the season he was injured. I think Dembele from the beginning of this season, every time he was available he had the possibility to play.

"Always it's up to the player. If the player shows he deserves to play, it's easy for them.

"I am very pleased with him. He got injured against Everton and had some problems with his foot but today he was very important for us."

Interestingly, though, you could very much apply those exact quotes to Townsend, which suggests it may well be an indirect message from the Spurs boss to the struggling 24-year-old winger.

Both Townsend and Dembele were partly injured last season. Both Townsend and Dembele have been given opportunities.

But only one of the two has shown Pochettino he deserves a place in the Tottenham side. As the Argentine says, it's 'up to the player.'

Spurs travel across north London for the derby at Arsenal on Sunday afternoon. Only one of Dembele or Townsend looks likely to feature at this rate.

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