Mousa Dembele has been the talk of the town over the last couple of weeks following a string of outstanding performances for Tottenham, particularly his display against Juventus in the Champions League.
The Belgium international is a crucial component of Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield and is perhaps the type of players Spurs’ bitter rivals Arsenal have been missing for some time now.
But, theoretically speaking, would Dembele walk straight in Arsenal’s starting XI? Our writers have their say below…
Not only would he get into the starting XI, but you might well find that he becomes the lynchpin of a midfielder who keeps the engine room running: he is exactly the player Arsenal have been crying out for over the last decade, and if he were a Gunner we might be talking about Premier League titles at the Emirates.
The fact he (or a similar player) is not, though, probably says more about the manager than anything else. And if Dembele had been a Wenger protege, he might well be an infuriatingly inconsistent number 10 right now.
Mousa Dembele would absolutely walk into Arsenal’s starting XI, muscling Granit Xhaka out of the way in the process.
In fact, he’s almost exactly the midfielder the Gunners have been crying out for since Alex Song departed for Barcelona; someone who can combine the physicality and ball-winning qualities they lack with the ability to pick out a pass and instigate attacking moves.
If there’s one counter-argument, it’s that Dembele usually needs a sitter alongside him like Victor Wanyama or Eric Dier, so maybe he wouldn’t solve all of Arsenal’s defensive frailties in midfield.