Mousa Dembele is now the latest name added to the ever-growing list of players linked with the Black Cats during the summer transfer window. The Tottenham playmaker would add an abundance of power, pace and creativity in the centre of our midfield should Pochettino allow him to leave White Hart Lane.
The 28-year-old Belgian international has over 60 caps and is already acquainted with Dick Advocaat. Having previously played under the Little General at AZ Alkmaar there is already an understanding between the two and that would surely be an enticing prospect for Advocaat as he looks to embark on the new season with his new look squad come 8th August. It’s interesting to note that in 2010 he had this to say about his then young charge at AK:
"I wouldn't hesitate for a second if I had the opportunity to sign Moussa. He's strong on the ball, only 22 years old and can play both on the left and the right wing. He would fit in perfect at a team like Arsenal."
We know, therefore, Advocaat is an admirer. Dembele has also played with Defoe and new signing Younes Kaboul too, so the concept of renewing that partnership on the field may also appeal to the Spurs man. It’s fair to say that Dembele has cut somewhat of a frustrating figure at times for Tottenham and has perhaps not necessarily suited the brand of football that is currently deployed there.
Joining after the sale of Modric to Real Madrid he made significant impact on games during the Villas Boas era. However it could be argued his most effective spell in the Premier League came under Martin Jol who first allowed him the opportunity to play in a more advanced midfield role. In fact the then Fulham man scored the winner against us in 2012 during a rich vein of form.
So where does all of this leave us? Historically Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has proved to be a shrewd negotiator in respect of transfer activity and it’s not evident what sums of money any potential deal would involve. However with the apparent straightforward transfer of Kaboul perhaps relationships between Congerton and Levy are more conducive to oiling the wheels of business rather than the holding out for every last penny mentality of old.
We’ve been desperate for a player in the mould of Dembele for years. While we should acknowledge he has the habit of dipping in and out of games at times, he always has the ability to retain the ball and that alone would improve our midfield tenfold. At this stage it’s not yet apparent whether the rumour has any solid foundation. However there's perhaps just enough substance underpinning this story to make it feel credible. Dembele is known to Advocaat, he's not had the game time recently he would have liked and a potential fee may well be within our means. Let’s hope there’s something in this.