This astonishing stat proves Mousa Dembele's importance to Spurs, and to Harry Kane

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

The Belgian star is a big miss for Tottenham Hotspur, with the 29-year-old still out for another three domestic matches.

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

It is no secret that Mousa Dembele became a major player for Tottenham Hotspur last season, the club's most successful in decades.

But an astonishing statistic has shown just how important his presence was to the North Londoners, and their talisman Harry Kane, and therefore, how much they miss him.

Playing as part of a midfield pivot that included anchorman Eric Dier, the Belgian international produced several wonderful performances throughout the 2015-16 campaign, regularly looking head and shoulders above whatever opposition he was up against.

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

The 29-year-old's strength, poise and close control saw him shine as both a defensive midfielder and when linking midfield to attack. Like Luka Modric, his predecessor in that role at White Hart Lane, Dembele is often heavily involved in pushing promising moves into genuinely dangerous ones. He doesn't score many goals, or assist that often, and this has been a criticism of his performances in the past, but the former Fulham man is often the one that initiates or develops a goal scoring chance with a tackle, a nonchalant dribble around an opponent, or a pass into a player that then provides the direct assist.

Last season he scored just three times in the Premier League and assisted once, but his impact when the team plays well is worth noting, if you dig a little deeper into how his performances were linked to golden boot winner Harry Kane's goalscoring.

Tottenham's Harry Kane in action with Everton's Phil JagielkaTottenham's Harry Kane in action with Everton's Phil Jagielka

Dembele started 27 league matches for Spurs, missing nine through injury and the suspension that continues to rule him out this season, and appearing as a substitute in the other two games.

In the eleven games the midfielder was absent, Kane managed to score just one of his 25 league goals - a tap in that got his season up and running in the 4-1 win over Manchester City. Ten other games Dembele didn't start in, Kane failed to score.

On the flip side of that, Kane scored 24 goals in the 27 fixtures Dembele started in.

Mousa Dembele celebrates after scoring the first goal for TottenhamMousa Dembele celebrates after scoring for Tottenham

Of course, this could be a huge coincidence, but most Spurs fans would acknowledge the importance of their Belgian star, and it's hard to ignore Kane scoring 1 in 11 versus 24 in 27.

What isn't in doubt though is that the sooner Dembele is back available for Mauricio Pochettino the better.

Spurs signed Victor Wanyama in the summer to add some strength in depth to central midfield, but again against Everton, Pochettino's side struggled to link midfield and attacking in the early stages of the match, with Kane looking particularly isolated until Vincent Janssen arrived and the England man dropped deeper.

It will be interesting to see what the Argentine does for the weekend's match against Crystal Palace.

Tottenham manager Mauricio PochettinoTottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

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