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.