Pochettino discusses Dembele absence; talks up Wanyama

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino with Mousa Dembele as he prepares to come on

Tottenham Hotspur are preparing to take on Everton this weekend without one of their top performers from last season.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino with Mousa Dembele as he prepares to come onTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino with Mousa Dembele as he prepares to come on

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has been discussing the absence of Mousa Dembele ahead of the club's opening day match against Everton this weekend, although, as quoted by Sky Sports, the Argentine had a positive approach to his suspension.

With Victor Wanyama arriving from Southampton this summer, Pochettino was optimistic that Spurs were in a better position to deal with Dembele's absence than they were at the end of last season.

"It's true that Mousa was important for us last season. It's a big loss for us for the first few games but we need to deal with that," the former Saints boss told Sky Sports.

"It's an opportunity for Victor [Wanyama]. I think Victor is a player that knows us and how we work and the philosophy and it was easy for him to develop his quality, his skill in the team.

Juventus' Pol Lirola in action with Tottenham's Victor WanyamaJuventus' Pol Lirola in action with Tottenham's Victor Wanyama

"From day one of pre-season, he felt very comfortable and settled in the team. This is a good help for us."

Dembele was widely regarded as one of the Premier League's most impressive midfielders last season, as he made use of his outstanding technical and physical skills to drive Spurs to a title challenge.

Tottenham's Mousa Dembele and Chelsea's Pedro in actionTottenham's Mousa Dembele and Chelsea's Pedro in action

It is perhaps the first time in his career that Dembele has been able to come good on his undoubted talents, and it was a huge blow for the North Londoners when he was suspended for the final two matches of the season - an absence that may have cost the club second place in the league.

But there is no doubt that in Wanyama Spurs have a player that is a hybrid of Dembele and anchorman Eric Dier. The Kenyan is powerful and dominant breaking up the opposition's attack, yet also possesses a dribbling ability and willingness to burst forward beyond that of the normal defensive midfielder.

It is likely he will start the match against Everton alongside Dier but given license to push forward whenever the opportunity arises, and it could be that Spurs fans see a debut to remember as part of a side boasting a beast of a midfield despite missing their main man. 

Erik Lamela celebrates with Victor Wanyama after scoring the first goal for TottenhamErik Lamela celebrates with Victor Wanyama after scoring for Tottenham

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