Murphy shares revelation about Tottenham ace Dembele that explains a lot
By Harry Sykes
Danny Murphy is convinced Moussa Dembele would have been one of the most sought-after midfielders of his generation if he had learned the position earlier in his career.
The Tottenham ace, 29, is widely hailed by his teammates and opponents as one of the outstanding players in the Premier League.
This has prompted questions as to why Dembele has not been a target of one of the world’s super clubs, with his career spent mostly at Spurs, Fulham and Dutch club AZ Alkmaar.
Murphy, a former teammate of Dembele, explained in his Evening Standard column why he felt the central midfielder’s mid-career transformation from an attacking player to a deep-lying one had been integral to the apparent lack of interest from the elite clubs.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“He has all the assets you need to play for one of the world’s biggest clubs — so why hasn’t he? People ask if he could show more desire or aggression, but I played with Mousa from 2010-12 at Fulham and I believe that is unfair, especially based on his displays this season and last,” Murphy wrote in the Standard.
“Mousa’s issue was that he didn’t become a central midfield powerhouse until his final season at Fulham, when he was already 24. Before that, he’d played on the wing or as a No10.
“So, by the time he’d been at Spurs for a while and more people were seeing his quality, he was already 27 or 28. He will be 30 in July.”
Dembele has been a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s side, forming an impressive partnership in central midfield with Victor Wanyama this season.
The Belgian is yet to score a Premier League goal this season but his technique, power and ability to win the ball and create the team’s play has been integral to their climb to second in the table.
Dele Alli has also described the former Fulham player, 29, as the outstanding player in the Tottenham squad.
In other Tottenham news, a forward has signed after Spurs agreed terms on an out-of-window deal.