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Martin Jol: This Tottenham player is one of the most gifted I have ever seen

By Matt Farr

Martin Jol insists Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele is one of the most gifted players he has ever seen.

The 29-year-old has been a key player under Mauricio Pochettino this season, contributing one goal and two assists from 37 appearances in all competitions.

He has formed a formidable central-midfield partnership alongside summer signing Victor Wanyama, but ex-Tottenham chief Jol deserves some credit for his success.

Jol worked alongside Dembele during his time as Fulham manager between 2011 and 2013, where he helped transform the Belgian international from an attack-minded forward into a midfield player.

He is now regarded as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the Premier League, and Jol admits he is one of the ‘most gifted’ players he has ever seen.

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He told Football.London: “I also converted Dembele from an attacking striker/winger into a midfield player. I did that at Fulham. That was the big change in his career and I’m sure he’d tell you the same.

“Dembele is one of the most gifted players I’ve ever had. I said that to [Dimitar Berbatov]. He is so strong and he will never lose the ball. He is so good.

“I said ‘You were probably my most gifted player I’ve ever seen, but Dembele is a very good second one.’ Dembele could play for any top team in the world.”

Dembele moved to Tottenham from Fulham in August 2012 for a fee of £15million, having scored seven goals from 75 appearances at Craven Cottage.

Jol also worked alongside key Tottenham trio Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen at Ajax, where he transformed Vertonghen from a midfield player into a defender – another successful change.

In other Tottenham news, Harry Kane has slammed one of his Spurs team-mates.

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