The rumor mill keeps churning, as Tottenham Hotspur has reportedly signed Fulham midfielder Moussa Dembélé on a £15m transfer. Duncan Castles broke the story, claiming that Spurs and The Cottagers were able to close the negotiations which saw the sides figuring a fee for the Belgian.
Castles' report claims that Dembélé is on his way for a physical and would be eligible to play this weekend. Castle has been first to reports, but also incorrect, so this report can be taken with some caution.
Dembélé, 25, arrived at Fulham in August 2010 from Dutch club AZ. Initially an attacking midfielder and wide forward, the Belgian was moved to central midfield last season by Fulham Manager Martin Jol. Dembele found success at the position, becoming a major creative force of the Fulham attack.
Dembélé would mark the clear replacement for Luka Modric, who left Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid yesterday. Larger and and more physically imposing than Modric, it will be interesting to see if Dembele can add a spark to a relatively stagnant Spurs' attack through the first two games of the season.
Tactically, Dembele's arrival marks an interesting opportunity for decision making on the part of Spurs Manager Andre Villas-Boas. Villas-Boas has favored a 4-2-3-1 system so far at Spurs, but Dembele does not have a clear fit in the system. He's not a true defensive midfielder, and playing him in a more attacking position would create a clear logjam with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Rafael van der Vaart.
Rather, Dembele's arrival may mark the beginning of a change towards AVB's preferred 4-3-3 system. Against teams where Spurs can impose themselves, Dembele may pair in a midfield trio with Sandro and Gylfi Sigurdsson, while the wingers push higher up the pitch.
Either way, Dembele's arrival may mark the beginning of an aggressive end to the transfer window, as Club Chairman Daniel Levy tries to re-invest the funds made available by Luka Modric's departure. We will have to wait for a more official ruling before we can totally confirm the move, but this seems quite evident that big changes are coming to White Hart Lane.
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