Despite only just creeping into November, the 2015-16 campaign has already proven Mousa Dembele’s most prolific season at White Hart Lane.
At long last it seems the Belgian playmaker is impressing in a Tottenham shirt after his move from Fulham in 2012. With three goals in three games and a swelling influence in the squad, Dembele is emerging as a crucial player for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
The 28-year-old’s Tottenham career could not have started any better with a stunning goal against Norwich marking his debut in style. Yet things were quick to simmer out as the Belgian only added a solitary strike to his 2012-13 tally in the remaining months.
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In fact, Dembele’s first three seasons as a Tottenham player saw only five goals in 123 appearances. Although his role at the club isn’t to hammer home 20 every season, the Spurs fans would expect more than two strikes a year from such an offensive midfielder.
His creativity also fizzled out last season as the 2014-15 campaign saw Dembele provide just one assist in 1140 Premier League minutes.
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However, this year has seen Dembele make an electric start and the player is finally starting to justify his £15 million price tag three years on. The supporters are also beginning to realise why Pochettino refused the temptation to offload the inconsistent midfielder over the summer.
Tottenham’s 5-1 demolition of Bournemouth saw Harry Kane hit the headlines with a superb hat-trick, yet the game also saw Dembele exercise his goal scoring demons. A neat finish saw the ex-Fulham player find the net for the first time in nine months.
Ending such a long goal drought has lifted a considerable amount of pressure as Dembele repeated the trick only a week later.
The opening goal in a 2-1 win over Aston Villa proved Dembele's first goal at White Hart Lane since December 2013. His superb solo effort was somewhat overshadowed by the strange reaction of referee Mike Dean, however.
Despite this, the player’s spectacular winning goal in the Europa League has truly confirmed his return to form. Tottenham fans once again fell in love with their Belgian playmaker as his finish put Anderlecht to the sword.
Latching onto a pass from Son Heung-Min, Dembele thundered a fizzing right-footed shot into the net for a late winner. The audacity to take on such a difficult effort with his weaker leg truly emphasised the 28-year-old’s returning confidence.
Furthermore, with Tottenham looking like dark horses in the race for a top-four place, Dembele’s recent rise to form could not have come at a better time.
His mercurial dribbling and overdue contribution of goals is seeing the Belgian’s Spurs career march towards success, albeit a bit later than the fans would have liked.
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