Tim Sherwood has suggested that Tottenham Hotspur have never managed to replace Mousa Dembele as he named the Belgian in a Spurs XI from the Premier League era.
Sherwood was speaking to the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast as he admitted that he does not understand why Spurs sold the 36-year-old back in 2019.
Mousa Dembele certainly has an argument to be considered one of the most underrated midfielders of the Premier League era. He joined from Fulham and went on to make 250 appearances for Tottenham in all competitions.
Of course, he played a pivotal role in Tottenham’s development into Premier League title contenders. And he was involved in the team that went on to reach the Champions League final a few months after his departure.
Sherwood thinks Tottenham have never managed to replace Dembele
His style of play meant that he never quite received the credit he probably deserved. And it probably is fair to say that Tottenham have never been as strong in the middle of the park since he moved on.
Certainly, Sherwood suggested that he has to get into Tottenham’s all-time Premier League XI.
“I’m going for a six, a sitting midfield player. For me, I just think this guy has never been replaced at the club. Qualities that he had and people didn’t really see it from the outside, but breaking the game up, centre-halves giving him the ball and him protecting it and sending it forward to the assisters, Mousa Dembele. One of the best,” he told No Tippy Tappy Football.
“I don’t know,” he added, when asked why Tottenham sold him. “They’ve tried so many other players to come in and fill the void. And they’ve never managed to do it in my opinion.”
Brighter future may lie ahead for Spurs
It has to be said that Dembele’s career did appear to be in decline by the time he moved on. He went on to spend the rest of his career in China. And he had been out injured for his last couple of months as a Tottenham player.
The big mistake was arguably not having his replacement lined up. Dembele’s departure left a huge hole in the side. And, as Sherwood suggests, no-one had been able to replace him
The good news is that the early signs are that Tottenham have now put together an outstanding midfield partnership.
Yves Bissouma has been unbelievable so far this season. Meanwhile, Pape Matar Sarr appears to have a huge ceiling.
Perhaps the pair will one day come into the conversation when Tottenham fans discuss all-time Premier League XIs in the future.