Former Manchester United and Stoke City defender Danny Higginbotham believes that the one way to stop Tottenham playing is by keeping Mousa Dembele out of the game.
The TV and newspaper pundit revealed that he has always been a huge admirer of the ex-Fulham star who was instrumental in the Champions League on Tuesday night as the Lillywhites pulled the game back to 2-2 in Turin.
Spurs went two goals down in the opening ten minutes after a quickfire brace had looked to put Mauricio Pochettino’s side out of the running in the tie but a Harry Kane goal before half-time gave the side hope.
However, it was the performance of the 30-year-old Belgium international that had Higginbotham raving as he admitted that he could not believed that pre move to Tottenham, there were not other clubs in the running for his signature.
Writing in his column for The Sun, the ex-defender stated: “I remember being surprised there was not more of a fight to sign him among the big club­s when he left Fulham for Spurs five years ago.
“He has always seemed like the perfect midfielder — strong defensively but good on the ball too and able to eat up ground quickly. The Belgian  glides across the turf.
“And now he is key to the way Tottenham play.”
There has been a lot said about Dembele recently.
A spell on the sidelines following an injury led to suggestions that the midfielder’s playing days might be numbered and his form wasn’t what it was.
But after a string of commanding displays, namely against Juve, Arsenal, and Liverpool, the Belgian has shown that class is permanent.
His coolness on the ball, his ability to shake off opponents when in possession, and the fact that he always seems to find a teammate with a pass has made him invaluable to Poch.
In the Champions League against Juventus, of the 105 passes he made, 100 were completed.
But as Higginbotham noted: “He is the start of the chain. Stop him and you stop Spurs.”
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