By Wayne Veysey

9th Mar, 2017 | 8:25pm

Ross Barkley: This unheralded Tottenham player is the hardest opponent I've ever had

Harry Kane

Ross Barkley has named Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele as the toughest opponent in his career.

Everton playmaker Barkley and Spurs’ kingpin Dembele both started for their respective sides in Spurs’ 3-2 win over the Merseysiders in the Premier League last Sunday.

The England international was emphatic in his response when asked to name the best player he had come across on the pitch.

“Mousa Dembele in midfield,” said Barkley, as quoted by the Evening Standard. “I played against him when I was 18 or 19 and I thought it was very tough.

“He’s probably the hardest player I’ve played against. He’s a strong player, he gets his foot in well and dictates play.”

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Dembele is a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s side and has formed an impressive partnership in central midfield with Victor Wanyama this season.

But the Belgium international is unheralded compared to the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, the team’s main goal scorers and creators.

Dembele is yet to score a Premier League goal this season but Pochettino has spoken warmly of his ability to win the ball and build the team’s play.

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.

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