Mousa Dembele’s underwhelming start to life in China shows Tottenham were right to let him leave

When Mousa Dembele left Tottenham Hotspur in January, the Spurs fanbase was split over whether the transfer was a positive move for the club.

On the one hand, Spurs were losing one of the most dominant midfielders in the Premier League on his day; the Belgian’s ability to shrug off attackers and gain back possession of the ball is unmatched.

And when Dembele strides forward in an attacking sense, his long gait and powerful rhythm overwhelms defenders and inspires his side.

Yet for all his strengths, the midfielder was ageing. In his early 30s, Dembele’s body began to struggle to adapt to the brutal realities of the Premier League. Plagued by persistent injuries and consistently falling out of the Tottenham squad, the previously unrelenting Dembele began to falter.

The wear-and-tear culminated in a winter transfer to Guangzhou R&F, bringing Dembele’s six-year Tottenham career to a close.

Now, with the Belgian struggling to dominate the Chinese league, it appears as if Spurs sold Dembele at the right time.

Dembele has played five times for Guangzhou since joining and has shown some signs of his classic, dominating dribbling style.

Yet in over 350 minutes of action, Dembele has scored just once and is yet to provide an assist — underwhelming statistics for a player who should stand out in the Chinese league.

With Dembele failing to tear up the competition in China, it appears Spurs made the right call when offloading the ageing midfielder this winter.

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