Tottenham have completed the signing of Mousa Dembele from Fulham, after agreeing a fee of £15 million. The Belgian international who joined the Craven Cottage side two years ago has made a massive impression on the Premier League and was a target for a number of clubs. Tottenham, having transferred Luka Modric to Real Madrid on Monday, have strengthened their midfield with the acquisition of Dembele.
Dembele made 62 Premier League appearances for Fulham and scored five goals. He signed from AZ Alkmaar in August, 2010 as a striker but has played in an attacking creative midfield role at Craven Cottage. He received high praise for his performance for Fulham last weekend in defeat against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Taken from a match report in the Daily Express, ‘Mousa Dembele helped Fulham push United right to the wire and underlined just why Ferguson and a number of other top managers are showing interest in him.’
The report in the Daily Mail made him ‘Man of the Match’, surely a rarity for a visiting player at Old Trafford and praised his performance where he was the Top passer with a 98% success rate – completing 49 passes out of 50.
After the match, Martin Jol was preparing himself for approaches from other clubs.
“Our team play came to the fore in the second half and Dembele was involved in most of what we did. There has been a lot of interest in him from other clubs during the summer and that was a concern. Anyone who wants him will have to pay a lot of money and I don’t think there are too many clubs who could afford to put the money on the table, so I think we will be fine.”
The Fulham manager was obviously trying to talk up Fulham’s case for keeping the player but it is thought that Tottenham, activated the £15 million release clause in Dembele’s contract so enabling further discussions to take place.
Dembele is the type of player that Tottenham have been lacking for many years – a player who can control and dominate the game. He is 25 years of age and has played for Belgium on 40 occasions with 5 goals. As Andre Villas-Boas looks to strengthen his squad, Dembele will give him further options in midfield as well as being a strong, commanding presence in the middle of the pitch.
While Dembele arrives and further signings are expected before Friday, some players will be departing and not just long time squad players – other unexpected departures may occur in the last minute rush to revitalise the team and the squad.