Why Tottenham must reject a Mousa Dembele-Joao Mario swap deal
Dembele, who will turn 31 years old next month, is yet to sign a contract extension with Spurs. And with his current deal set to expire next summer, Tottenham are reportedly open to the prospect of offloading him for £30m but should they accept Inter’s offer?
Mario is a central midfielder by trade but his game is quite attack-oriented. Dembele, on the other hand, is more defensive. However, over the course of the previous campaign, Mauricio Pochettino utilised a 4-3-2-1 formation more often than not.
In doing so, he usually deployed Eric Dier and Mousa Dembele as defensive midfielders. As Tottenham boast of exceptional quality in their attack, Dier and Dembele worked well in their defensive roles.
But to that end, perhaps Mario’s presence could introduce an attacking outlet from the midfield area for Spurs. Dier can be overly defensive at times and Mario could go on to become a better partner for him.
However, it must be noted that Mario spent the second-half of the previous campaign on loan with West Ham United. Now, the Hammers were in a precarious state from the beginning of the 2017/18 season but unfortunately for the club, Mario could not deliver the desired results.
His performances for the London-based outfit were rather lukewarm, which raises question marks regarding his quality on the whole. After all, Dembele has been rock-solid for Tottenham and the Belgian is arguably one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
Over time, he has displayed exceptional skills and consistency. In addition, Dembele is a team player in the truest sense of the term and it will be tough for Tottenham to fill his void if he does leave.
Mario is a talented player but he is not good enough to replace a player of Dembele’s calibre. It is unsure as to whether or not Inter are willing to offer cash as well and maybe only then, Tottenham should consider the deal.
Regardless, it would be a major risk for the club to let Dembele leave and it will be a greater risk to attempt replacing him with Mario.