A lot has been said of Mousa Dembele in recent weeks. His performance for Tottenham against Juventus in the Champions League earlier in the week had many asking the question: is he currently the best central midfielder in the Premier League?
The midfielder, valued at just £16.2million by transfermarket.com, has become indispensable to a Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield and the praise he’s currently getting is well deserved.
Our writers have had their say on the Belgium international below…
Who qualifies as a central midfielder and who doesn’t? That’s a debate for another day.
But what is clear about Mousa Dembele is that few players in world football offer the same level of control in the middle of the park; whether he’s using his power to win the ball back or shield it before shrewdly distributing, he completely dominates his pocket of the pitch.
There aren’t many players in any position who can make that claim, and that renders Dembele a particularly unique and effective asset.
I can’t think of a Premier League team that wouldn’t start him regularly.
He is undoubtedly very good, but best? It’s telling that those who have played with the Belgian for club and country speak in glowing terms about him as perhaps the most underrated player in world football, but best is a big claim.
Look at Manchester City’s trio of Kevin de Bruyne, David Silva and Fernandinho, and you start to see a compelling argument against it. Two of those three have made more tackles than Dembele this season, whilst Silva has only two fewer despite being a very different kind of player; all have more assists and all have more goals, too.
Football isn’t measured solely on such stats, but surely the breadth and depth of the contributions that City’s trio have made to the league stand higher than Dembele’s so far this season.