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Dembele opens up on why he left Spurs

Belgium international Mousa Dembele has revealed why he opted to leave Tottenham for Guangzhou R&F last month.

Dembele, 31, spent nearly seven remarkable years in North London, endearing his way to the faithful with impressive performances.

He wasn’t the most-skilful, strongest or technically gifted middlemen around.

 But the 31-year-old’s hard work, dedication and humility won him admirers even beyond London.

Dembele featured 250 times for Spurs, hitting the net 11 times.

His decision to swap an utterly competitive Premier League for the Chinese League came as a huge surprise.

While there were speculations that he moved for the money, Dembele has suggested that it was all about a new challenge.

He said as quoted by Sky Sports that: “I wanted to have a different experience in life. I heard already there is good food in Guangzhou. I will try this a lot. I think my family will enjoy it as well here.”

Dembele joined Spurs from Fulham for £15 million but left for less than that fee to Asia.

It isn’t surprising. The Belgian struggled with varying degrees of injury this season. He started just seven league games, the last was over two months ago.

Pochettino wasn’t so keen to allow the 31-year-old to depart last summer but didn’t ignore the last approach.

Dembele began his career at defunct Belgian side, Beerschot A.C in 2003 before moving to the Netherlands.

His first stop was Willem II in 2005 then AZ just one year later.

It was there he developed into an elite midfielder in four years, racking over a century of appearances with 24 goals.

Dembele is unlikely to make many headlines in Europe following his move to China, but I’m sure the player will impress his new fans with his incredible technical ability.

Spurs eyeing Leicester City midfielder if Eriksen joins Madrid

Tottenham Hotspur are already preparing for life after Christian Eriksen, it seems.

The Denmark international is a reported target for Real Madrid who could break the bank to make him the next Galactico.

Eriksen has just 18 months left on his current deals with talks over a new one unsuccessful despite going on for over a year.

Even if the proposed switch to Spain ultimately fails to go through, the Dane isn’t short of admirers.

Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Chelsea have expressed interests in the playmaker.

Although Mauricio Pochettino has said he will do everything in his power to keep the midfielder, the North London side may already be working on a potential replacement.

Leicester City midfielder James Maddison has been tipped to succeed the 27-year-old.

Maddison will get a first-hand chance to impress when Leicester go to Wembley on Sunday.

The Englishman has only been at the King Power Stadium for eight months after joining for a £24million deal from Norwich.

In that short time, Maddison impressed in the Premier League, gaining loads of admirers beyond Leicester.

Like Eriksen, he is proficient in the art of finding pockets of space between the lines.

Maddison is given the freedom of the pitch in whichever formation his manager deploys him in.

Whether out wide or forward, he constantly floats in-field to find space, making it difficult for opposing wide players to track him, much like Eriksen.

The 22-year-old has been directly involved in nine strikes (five goals, four assists) in 23 Premier League appearances and his fine form won him his first England call-up last October.

However, 90min reports that the Foxes won’t let him leave and will offer him a bumper new deal to convince him to stay similar to Harry Maguire.

Eriksen joined Spurs in 2013 from Ajax and has since evolved into an elite midfielder creating and scoring at will.

Real would have to cough out almost £100m to land the midfielder but with the Spanish club struggling this season, they will be under pressure to invest in the summer.

Just 50 per cent of that fee would surely be enough to lure Maddison to North London.

That’s if the Foxes don’t give blind eyes to the megabucks.

After winning the title a few seasons ago, the club have ambitions to remain amongst the top teams in the division and selling any of their star players would give the wrong message to the fans.

Tottenham may have to rely on the player to help push through any move, as he would surely be keen to regularly compete at the top of the table and in the Champions League, something Leicester cannot offer.

Pochettino speaks out after Spurs fail to sign anyone

The transfer window has come and gone. Like in previous window’s, Tottenham Hotspur are reeling over inactivity in the market.

For the second successive window, Spurs were unable to make any kind of reinforcement to their squad despite obvious deficiences.

Lucas Moura was the club’s last addition to Pochettino’s squad from Paris Saint Germain over a year ago.

The Lilywhites lost two players in the window; Georges-Kevin Nkoudou to AS Monaco and Mousa Dembele who moved to China.

The expectation was that Spurs would bring in some fresh legs to at least replace the duo that left, especially Dembele who has been an influential part of Pochettino’s team in recent years.

Pochettino has been left disappointed with another inactive month in the market, especially with his side in an injury crisis of some sort.

The Argentinean has always preferred to stay muted over questions about funds available to him but revealed his frustration this time when quizzed ahead of Spurs’ home game with Newcastle United on Saturday.

“I wanted to strengthen the squad but, if we cannot sign anyone, I need to stick with the pressure of the club.” He said as quoted by Goal.

“I am disappointed because we are in a very good position and maybe, with a little more help, we could not have an excuse not to be a real contender. But we are in a very good position and we will fight until the end to be as high as we can.”

Spurs are without three first-team players ahead of a busy February.

Harry Kane, Ben Davies and Dele Alli are ruled out due to ankle, groin and hamstring injuries.

Moura, too, isn’t fully fit after picking up a knock last month.

Tottenham are in the race for the Premier League, trailing Manchester City and Liverpool.

The Lilywhites have a tough Champions League last 16 clash with Borussia Dortmund on the cards and their participation in numerous competitions could see an already thin squad stretched to beyond their means.

Tottenham fans will be gutted if, at the end of the season, their team falls just short of the title once again and will wonder what could have been, if only the club added some fresh faces in January.

Spurs plot summer move for midfielder

Tottenham are reportedly plotting a summer move for Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler, according to Mirror.

Mauricio Pochettino is eager to add a new face to his squad having failed to do so in the last two windows.

Lucas Moura was the club’s last addition joining from Paris Saint-Germain during the 2018 winter window.

Spurs’ lack of activity in the market place is increasingly putting Pochettino under pressure, especially after Mousa Dembele left for China.

The Argentine manager is seeking a replacement in midfield and young Soler is an option.

According to the Mirror, the Lilywhites are ready to cough up £30million for the 22-year-old.

However, the English side faces huge competition landing the promising central midfielder with Paris Saint Germain also keen.

Soler is largely unknown in England but his stock is rising fast in Spain.

Manchester United fans will remember the player who scored in Valencia’s 2-1 Champions League win against Manchester United at La Mestalla in December.

Soler loves to storm forward to produce a moment of magic.

The 22-year-old has done so twice in 28 games in all competitions this season but also created six assists for the club.

Born in Valencia, Soler is yet to be capped by Spain but has represented his nation at several youth levels.

Quick and direct, he is fond of roaming the midfield waiting to be picked out with a pass.

As soon he receives the ball, he drives into the heart of the opposition, using his deft touches and good vision to push forward Valencia’s forays into attacking areas.

Soler could prove to be a good replacement for Dembele.

The Belgian international will be playing in China soon and so Spurs will be missing some technical ability in the heart of midfield and Soler could fill that void.

One thing that is for sure is that the club need to invest in new players or they risk being left behind by their title rivals. Both Manchester City and Liverpool have invested in already very strong squads in recent windows, as they continually look to improve.

Dembele era over as Spurs confirm departure

Tottenham have confirmed the departure of Mousa Dembele to Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese Super League.

The Belgian, described by Mauricio Pochettino, as a “genius” loved by the club’s supporters during his six and a half years with them joined the Asian side for £11m.

Dembele, 31, was severally linked with an exit to the CSL, with a switch to Beijing Guoan last summer falling through in the final minute.

Spurs, however, will have a big grin to have taken the money for a player who had just six months to run on his contract this time with no desire to sign a new.

The Belgian joined Spurs in August 2012 from Fulham for £15m, going on to make 250 appearances in all competitions for them, scoring 10 goals.

It was never about the numbers, though. Dembele charmed the hearts of Spurs faithful with his unique mixture of brute strength and soft touch.

On his day, he could single-handedly dictate Spurs games from central midfield and virtually all of his teammates at various times described him as the best player at the club.

“I always say to him: ‘Mousa, when I write my book, you will be one of my genius players that I have been lucky enough to meet,’” In March 2017 Pochettino said to him as quoted by Talksport. “One was Maradona; also Ronaldinho, Okocha and Iván de la Peña – he was a genius, too – and then Mousa. We always tell Mousa that if we had taken him at 18 or 19, he would have become one of the best players in the world.”

On his part, Dembele described Spurs as “part of my family now, 100%”. Sometimes you separate in a bad way but I don’t feel that way. I go away with an unbelievable feeling and with a certain love for the club.”

Good luck, Dembele.

Tottenham interested in Ligue 1 midfielder

Tottenham are reportedly interested in signing Morgan Sanson from Marseille.

According to L’Equipe, per Talksport, the north Londoners have been observing Sanson for some time now.

Sanson is a versatile midfielder and is being viewed as a replacement for the departing Mousa Dembele.

He is valued at around £18million (€20m) by his current club which is very much affordable for the Lilywhites.

Spurs will be clearly short of manpower in the middle of the pack when Dembele departs.

The north London side will be left with Harry Winks, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama as deep central options and Dele Alli and Cristian Eriksen as more advanced players.

Pochettino is desperate to add to his team having failed to do so last summer. And 24-year-old Sanson could just be the man to kick start a potential hectic winter shopping spree.

Spurs still have their eyes on the Premier League with the faithful hoping some reinforcements will keep that dream alive.

Sanson is versatile with the ability to slot vertically through the midfield, defensively or centrally.

He could also do a decent job in a more advanced role behind the striker. This season, he’s been deployed in a variety of positions but predominantly in the box-to-box role.

There he started 12 times out of his 27 appearances across all competitions. He’s been utterly productive in that role, scoring three times and lacing two for teammates.

With the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen already competing for the spot behind Harry Kane, Sanson will be very much at home see slightly behind.

Since moving to Marseille in 2017, the ex-France youth international scored 16 goals and created a further 14.

Sanson began his playing career at amateur side Bourges before spells at Le Mans and Montpellier.

Whilst Sanson is clearly a player with qualities, fans will be hungry for a midfielder of a higher calibre, especially if the club are looking to close the gap between them and Manchester City and Liverpool.

Would Sanson get in or near either Pep or Klopp’s squads? I seriously doubt it and therein lies the issue with Tottenham and their recruitment policy of late. The same could be said for Nkoudou and Sissoko.

Spurs need to make signings, but they need to ensure they are of a certain calibre and that they are clear improvements on their current options.

Is Jack Grealish The Answer?

As we approach transfer deadline day on the earlier date of August 9, it finally seems Spurs might be able to step up their attempts to sign key targets, one of those being Jack Grealish.

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It has emerged via the Telegraph that Grealish is keen on making a move to Tottenham happen before the deadline, in favour of transfers to South London to either Fulham or Crystal Palace. The prospect of working with Mauricio Pochettino and Champions League football are the reasons for his preference it is understood.

It is all very well the player being keen on a move to Spurs, but will Grealish be a success at Tottenham is he makes a switch rumoured to be worth upwards of £30m?

If you sat down with Jack Grealish and asked him about the season just gone (after asking him why he wears his socks round his ankles), I am sure he would say it was below his best and that he is capable of much more. Out until November with kidney problems, the Villa man made 27 Championship appearances, yielding pretty average results, three goals and five assists. Does that scream at you, ‘we need to pay upwards of £30m for this man, he is ready for the step up of playing for a top four club’? It doesn’t to me.

However, there are other aspects of the proposed transfer to look at before writing Grealish off due to his sub-par statistics from last season. First of all, he is only 22 years of age, nowhere near reaching his peak. There is a lot still to learn and a lot to be improved upon. With guidance from Mauricio Pochettino, Grealish could become a top drawer attacking midfielder.

Despite scoring just three times and providing five assists last season, the Englishman is more than capable of coming up with a little bit of magic when needed. Take his strike with five minutes to go against Cardiff in April for example to win the game.

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You will often see Grealish get a little frustrated on the pitch and his head may drop for periods. It only takes a good coach to turn this anger and frustration into passion and hunger for success. Mauricio Pochettino could be the man to do that.

In summary, spending upwards of £30m on an attacking midfielder that had an average season in the Championship in a team that failed to win promotion seems like a huge gamble. And it is. However, with the potential this youngster has, it could prove to be money well spent if Daniel Levy can land his signature for the right price.

Pochettino Must Push To Sign Anthony Martial

Mauricio Pochettino signed a new contract earlier this year, and whilst Tottenham will never be able to compete with the top clubs financially, they do need to take an opportunity when it arises, and Anthony Martial wanting to leave Manchester United in exactly that, an opportunity – one that cannot be missed.

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It has been a long time since Martial indicated he wanted out, and no clubs appear to have made a serious move for the player as of yet.

Martial has been one of many victims of Jose Mourinho’s negative football tactics, but the potential is there for all to see. Should he come to play for a manager like Pochettino I feel we would really see one of the best young talents in Europe thrive again.

It’s easy to forget that the former Monaco man is aged just 22. There’s a huge amount of unearthed talent there and he has all the right ingredients to develop into a top player.

Harry Kane is, of course, a top player and getting him to sign an extension will be, without doubt, the best deal of the summer, but Tottenham cannot stop there. Too long, this club has been ‘close’ to winning major trophies, and as well as keeping our main stars, we need to add some top quality to the starting eleven to take us to the next level.

Martial may not do that immediately, but we do not have the budget to sign players, in their prime at the level we need to improve our eleven, instead, we must target players like Martial, who in the right system and coached properly would take the team to the next level and double their value.

Of course, re-signing Gareth Bale would be a dream, but Martial is the realistic alternative. As good as Kane is in attack, there is not enough quality in wide areas to support him.

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If you look at Liverpool and Manchester City last season, much of their success can be attributed to the attacking performances of their wide players, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane – we don’t have a player in that mould currently and Martial could be the next to emerge.

For anything less than £60million, Martial is worth the investment and Tottenham should not hesitate in making their move.

3 Players Tottenham Must Tie Down Before The Season Starts

You would have to be a fool to brand the summer so far for Spurs anything but a success. Despite no new faces arriving at Hotspur Way since Lucas Moura in January, Daniel Levy has been hard at work negotiating new contracts for arguably two of Tottenham’s most influential men.
Mauricio Pochettino committed to six more years in North London before the Real Madrid interest came and went a week later at the end of May. Soon after, Harry Kane was next to put pen to paper on a new deal, ending any speculation that the former Golden Boot winner would move away this summer, a contract that saw the former wage structure blown to pieces, the striker pocketing £200,000-per-week. Think that’s easy money? See how you could make your own here with betting money management strategies for sports betting.

Spurs’ recent successive Premier League top four finishes have been admired by many, but Mauricio Pochettino is hungry for more success as he continues his search for a major trophy that has alluded him so far. In order for this to happen, he will need to keep hold of the core of the current Spurs team as they prepare to move into the new White Hart Lane in September. Here are three players Tottenham must commit to new deals before the season gets underway in August.

1) Jan Vertonghen

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The consistency of Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen has been tremendous over the past season. His partnership with Davinson Sanchez at the heart of the back line has kept fan favourite Toby Alderweireld out of a team that shipped just 36 goals in the Premier League all season, less than one per game.
Vertonghen has come on leaps and bounds over the past few years, and to illustrate this point, think back to a matchup between Liverpool and Spurs, where the centre-back was pictured leaning up against the walls of the Anfield tunnel without a care in the world. Long gone are these times.
The 31-year-old is now a true leader, helping with the development of Colombian defensive partner Davinson Sanchez along the way. Not only does Vertonghen stay calm under pressure at all times, the unpredictability of his strides up the pitch with the ball have left many defences and midfields fooled.
With just one year left on his current deal, it is of paramount importance that Spurs ensure the Belgian signs a contract extension or risk losing him on a free next summer. You get the feeling that Vertonghen will be a key figure for Spurs as they move into the new White Hart Lane.

Why The Sale Of Toby Alderweireld Would Not Be A Betrayal Of The Fans

Tottenham’s reputation of cashing in on top players at the club is a reputation that has not died with successive top four finishes in the eyes of some. However, I believe the club is past this stage.

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Take the sale of Kyle Walker last summer. Some fans were serious when the news broke that the Yorkshireman had been sold to this season’s champions for a hefty £50m. ‘Same old Levy’ and ‘same old Tottenham’ were some of the cries as we watched another top-class player leave North London.

Unfair criticism it turned out to be in my view. Although Kyle Walker wanted to leave Tottenham, according to the Independent, his mind was made up as a result of an ongoing dispute with manager Mauricio Pochettino over fitness. As mentioned in that Independent article, Pochettino doubted Walker’s ability to play two games in one week, something the right-back disagreed with strongly at the time.

The decision to sell the player seemed to be best for both parties. Spurs got their £50m and Walker got to start a fresh with a different manager that maybe doesn’t doubt his fitness in the way Pochettino did. Although it can be viewed as a mistake selling to a direct rival and strengthening their team, the decision seemed to be the correct one to sell Walker. The situation is similar with Toby Alderweireld.

Tottenham had been keen to tie Alderweireld down to a new deal before the end of last season, but negotiations have been in deadlock for some time now. If the player was that keen to sign, he surely would have done so by now.

It has been a frustrating season for the Belgian defender. Not only has he had a couple of fairly lengthy spells out of action due to injury, but he has also seen himself kept out of the team by the solid and effective centre-back partnership of Jan Vertonghen and newcomer Davinson Sanchez. Due to the contract stalemate? Or due to the stellar performances of the pair mentioned before? This is an issue up for debate.

Nonetheless, without Alderweireld, the defensive unit has performed efficiently and effectively over this season, is the Belgian still the integral part of the defence as he once was? Or have we evolved as a team? If the answer to the latter is yes, £50m would be a healthy sum to sell to Manchester United for. However, we are left with the issue of strengthening a direct rival. This is something that needs to be considered carefully by the coaching staff at Spurs, but why not cash in on a player that doesn’t want to commit his long-term future to the club?