Kieran Trippier has claimed that the sale of Mousa Dembele played a big role in Tottenham Hotspur’s decline.
Spurs sold the Belgium international to Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F in January of 2019 for £11 million.
Tottenham went on to reach their first-ever Champions League final without the powerful Dembele in midfield during the second half of that season, losing to Liverpool in Madrid, but he hasn’t really been replaced.
Mauricio Pochettino brought Tanguy Ndombele to North London for a club-record fee of £63 million last summer, but the Frenchman has not proven anywhere near an upgrade on the former Fulham powerhouse just yet.
And Trippier, who left the Lilywhites last summer, says that Tottenham would’ve beaten Liverpool last June if not for Dembele’s sale, claiming that he’s the finest footballer that he’s ever played with.
He said to The Beautiful Game podcast: “For me personally, selling Mousa Dembele. You can ask anyone that’s played with him, he’s the best player I’ve ever played with. You can’t replace him
“We sold him in January. I personally feel, if we kept him for a further five months, we would have done a lot better. I think we would have won the final.”
There’s a lot of Tottenham fans who will feel just the same as Trippier here.
If we’re honest, a 30-year-old Dembele was a much bigger influence for Pochettino’s side than Ndombele was under the Argentine, and that remains the case under Jose Mourinho.
And although there’s time for the former Lyon midfieder to be a success, he has very, very big boots to fill.