Supplying cover for Dembele just as important as Wanyama deal for Spurs

Tottenham should be seriously considering enforcing this area of their squad before the season starts.

Tottenham's Mousa Dembele in action with West Brom's Craig GardnerTottenham's Mousa Dembele in action with West Brom's Craig Gardner

Spurs are reportedly on the brink of securing the signing of Southampton's Victor Wanyama, according to sources such as BBC Sport, but adding competition to shore up another area of their midfield is perhaps just as vital, or maybe even more important to their long term success.

The central midfielder most integral to Tottenham's success last season may vary depending on whose opinion you seek, but for those that feel Eric Dier, and his role, made the most difference, others may point to the impact of Mousa Dembele.

Though there is little doubt that the club can benefit from having an established anchorman as backup for Eric Dier, with the England international also capable of covering at the back, it is perhaps more important to find adequate cover for the second midfielder in their pivot, alongside the obvious need for striker reinforcements.

Southampton's Victor Wanyama celebrates scoring their third goalSouthampton's Victor Wanyama celebrates scoring

Dembele, who went off injured in Belgium's win over Ireland, is set to miss the first few matches of the league season after a six-game suspension resulting from his altercation with Chelsea's Diego Costa, and he also regularly suffers knocks and injuries that rule him out for short spells. 

From his four years at White Hart Lane, Dembele has never played more than 32 league matches, and only once featured more than 29 times in the league. By comparison, Dier is much more resilient, missing just one league match last season, via a suspension because of yellow card accumulation. On top of that, it can be argued that Dembele is more capable of filling in for Dier than the England international or Wanyama could fill in for him.

Against Liverpool last season, when Dembele took a defensive spot because of Dier's suspension, he was untouchable, and Spurs looked solid with Dele Alli coming back to occupy Dembele's usual role. However, Alli's move back meant the attacking side of their game suffered, and the former MK Dons star has proved that his ideal role is very much linking up with Harry Kane as much as possible.

England's Eric Dier celebrates after scoring their first goalEngland's Eric Dier celebrates after scoring their first goal

Dier's presence in the Spurs side at the end of the season was unable to stop Tottenham's league campaign coming to a stuttering halt, with defeats against both Southampton and, devastatingly, against Newcastle, both fixtures where they missed Dembele's defensive and attacking qualities.

Pochettino's recruitment of Wanyama is great business, but may make it difficult to convince other central midfielders to make a move, especially with the club also boasting the likes of Ryan Mason, Tom Carroll and Nabil Bentaleb. Some of those players may be moved on this summer, or may be projects for Pochettino to really try and develop, but still it could be difficult to fit two central midfielders on the bench in the coming season.

Who knows what Pochettino and Head of Recruitmen Paul Mitchell have in mind for the squad, and few would lecture them on how to assemble a football squad, but a midfielder who can operate as defensive midfielder AND come in for Dembele alongside Dier would have perhaps helped them target two problem positions, while keeping the squad streamlined.

Either way, adequate back up for Dembele has to be something for the club to address, because even with Wanyama coming in, the Spurs squad as it is will suffer immensely from the Belgian's absence.

Belgium's Mousa Dembele goes off injuredBelgium's Mousa Dembele goes off injured

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