Mousa Dembele.

Why Mousa Dembele is planning to leave Tottenham for China this summer

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Belgian international Mousa Dembele appears to be heading for the Tottenham exit door.

The powerful 30-year-old midfielder has produced some wonderful performances this season but is expected to leave the Premier League over the summer.

Former Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas heaped praise on Dembele earlier in 2018 and described him as "one of the best central midfielders in Europe".

"In the past few weeks he has come up against players of the calibre of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic of Manchester United, and Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic of Juventus, and has destroyed them all," Jenas told BBC Sport.

"Those performances - and the way he played against Liverpool and Arsenal recently - have earned Dembele plenty of plaudits, and they are richly deserved.

"And when he is at the top of his game he is one of the best central midfielders in Europe - there is no doubt about that."

However, Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino looks set to lose the former Fulham star ahead of the 2018/19 season.

The sad reason Dembele is planning to leave Spurs

His contract expires in 2019 but, according to the Independent, Dembele wants to leave the Premier League and go abroad this summer - with China as his most likely destination.

The 30-year-old has been plagued by injury problems in recent years and has only managed to start 20 of Tottenham's 34 Premier League games this season.

Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Dembele had agreed to let Tottenham know by the end of the season if he believes he will be able to play at White Hart Lane from August.

The Independent state that "Dembele is close to deciding that the physical demands of playing in midfield for Spurs mean that it is time to leave."

He has also recognised that he will be able to get a longer and more lucrative contract in the Far East, although is also considering going to play in Serie A.

AFC Bournemouth v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Tottenham fans adore Dembele and Pochettino will certainly find it very difficult to find an adequate replacement.

He signed for Tottenham for £15m in 2012 and Daniel Levy can expect to make a healthy profit on the highly-rated midfielder.

Dembele's injury problems have been well documented in recent years but it will be a mighty shame for the Premier League to lose a player of his calibre.

He's been an absolute joy to watch since moving to England from AZ Alkmaar in 2010 - the Premier League will be worse off without him.

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Premier League
Mousa Dembele
Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino

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