Former Tottenham manager Martin Jol has said that he would “start sweating” at the prospect of not starting Mousa Dembele.
This wasn’t from his time at Tottenham, but from when he was manager of Fulham.
Dembele joined Fulham for £5.5million from AZ Alkmaar in 2010 before joining Tottenham for around £17.5million in the summer of 2012.
And even back then Jol knew that Dembele was a serious talent – a player he know puts ahead of Paul Pogba.
“I would sometimes think of resting him as he is a physical player,” said Jol as quoted by Walfoot.
“But I would start sweating about starting a game without him. Dembele was my best player and I wanted to take the pressure off him
“There is almost no midfielder better than him to pass a man, maybe Pogba or Vidal, but Mousa is better.”
Current manager Mauricio Pochettino knows how important the player is too, saying of Dembele: “I have said before that he is a genius of football. I put him next to Maradona, Ronaldinho.”
Football Insider verdict:
Players like Dembele often struggle to get the plaudits they deserve, with adulation reserved for the goal-scorers like Harry Kane. But everyone who has worked with Dembele sings his praises and even back at Fulham Jol knew he was sitting on a world-class talent. That’s one big upcoming issue for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. He’s always been a physical player and that takes its toll. He’s 30 now and his best years are behind him, and Pochettino knows he has to look after him if he wants to keep getting the best from him. How much longer has he got before he has to look for a replacement that could be impossible to find?
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