Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dembele Is the Real Deal; TOTTENHAM V MILLWALL

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Dembele Is the Real Deal; TOTTENHAM V MILLWALL

Article excerpt

Byline: Danny Murphy FA CUP SPECIAL

IF you want to understand how important Mousa Dembele is to Tottenham, consider this: is there a team in England who wouldn't include him in their first-choice starting XI? He would play ahead of Nemanja Matic for Chelsea. You'd have him over any of Arsenal's midfielders, possibly alongside Santi Cazorla if everyone was fit.

I'd take him over Ander Herrera at Manchester United, above Yaya Toure or Ilkay Gundogan at Manchester City. He is better than any of Liverpool's midfield three.

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.

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. …

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