Three Mousa Dembele replacements Tottenham must target in January
Beijing Sinobo Guoan wants to be successful in their second attempt after Tottenham refused to let Dembele leave the club last February. However, the Belgian’s reluctance to sign a new deal may force Spurs to sell him in January.
Dembele, 31, will be a free agent at the end of this season, which means he can sign a pre-contract with an overseas club in 2019.
The Belgium international has been a key player for Spurs over the years but he is slowing down with age and this could be the right time to move him on as losing him for free would be a big blow. That being said, here are three Dembele replacements Tottenham can target in January.
Frenkie de Jong (Ajax)
Tottenham should consider a move for Ajax prospect Frenkie De Jong in January.
De Jong, 21, has shown immense potential for Ajax and can play either in defence or in midfield. He helped Ajax reach the 2017 Europa League final, and is rated as one of the best talents to have emerged from Holland in recent times.
An excellent player with top passing abilities and technique, De Jong would be the perfect eventual replacement for Dembele in the heart of Tottenham’s midfield.
Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon)
Tanguy Ndombele is another promising young footballer who Spurs should give a look.
Ndombele, 21, established himself as a crucial member of Lyon’s first-team squad. The France Under-21 international is known for his exquisite dribbling technique, skill on the ball and high work rate. He is an incredible athlete with the ability to play a defence-splitting pass.
Ndombele certainly has the creativity and flair to replace what Dembele offers in possession, and he’s a hard worker too. At 21, he isn’t a finished product in any case but would develop under someone like Mauricio Pochettino.
Mario Lemina (Southampton)
Spurs will likely have to sign someone in January to bolster their engine room should Dembele leave for China. But in terms of signing a direct replacement, Lemina would be a perfect fit for Spurs.
Lemina is always hungry to receive the ball and dictate the tempo of the game with his passing and crossing abilities. The former Juventus star is strong, powerful, energetic and uses his power to win the ball back as well. He puts his team on the front foot with the right pass or a driving dribble.
The Gabonese’s calmness on the ball and ability to break up the opponents’ game could be an asset for Tottenham.