Why Tottenham must replace Mousa Dembele with Wilfred Ndidi
The Belgian midfielder will turn 31 this month and has just a year left on his Tottenham contract. Dembele, who signed from Fulham in 2012, has spent eight seasons in English football. However, he wants to quit Spurs in search of a new challenge, reportedly in China or Italy.
Dembele has been struggling with minor injuries that have hampered his progress at Spurs in the last couple of seasons. The Belgian endured another injury-hit campaign with the north Londoners the last term. Despite returning to fitness, he never looked like the midfielder he once used to be.
And the 30-year-old’s display for Belgium against France in the World Cup semi-finals has not done any favours. Dembele looked sluggish throughout the game and simply failed to find his rhythm. He was no match for the likes of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba, and was hauled off the pitch by Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.
Hence, it is safe to suggest that Mauricio Pochettino must sell the midfielder this summer. It is the right time for Tottenham to let Dembele leave but finding his replacement would be a tough ask. That said, should Tottenham go for Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi?
Leicester City signed Ndidi from KRC Genk in January 2017 and the Nigerian powerhouse has grown leaps and bounds in the Premier League. He has enjoyed two quality seasons at King Power Stadium that has seen him enhance his reputation as one of the top-flight’s most exciting young midfielders.
An ever-present figure in the Leicester side that finished 9th last term, Ndidi is a solid midfielder with a sublime range of passing and crossing abilities. He is a solid ball-winner and also possesses balance and guile.
He is a top-tackler and his physicality allows him to push opponents off the ball and win aerial duels with considerable ease. The Nigeria international can make box-to-box runs and play long balls, while also packing a powerful shot.
Ndidi has proven to be a strong defensive presence for Leicester and is highly competent in the air, which is an area Tottenham must improve. The Lagos-born midfielder has also already racked up 19 caps for Nigeria at the age of 21, enjoying an impressive World Cup campaign as well.
There is absolutely no questioning Dembele’s talent or his value to Tottenham but the Belgian is done and dusted in north London. To that end, Ndidi could be an excellent option to replace Dembele. The Nigerian is good at what he does, making him the ultimate long-term investment for Tottenham.