Fulham have accepted Tottenham Hotspur's bid for Moussa Dembele, according to Martin Jol and the Belgian will be the newest Spur once he agrees to personal terms with the club and passes his medical. Neither the personal terms nor the medical are expected to be a problem so now would be a good time to welcome Dembele to White Hart Lane.
While Jol did not reveal the transfer fee that Tottenham will pay, the popular rumor for more than a week now is that Fulham will get £15 million for Dembele. That is half of what Spurs reportedly made when they sold Lua Modric to Real Madrid.
Dembele's natural position is as an attacking midfielder, but that position is already taken by both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Rafael van der Vaart at Tottenham. Andre Villas-Boas likely bought the Belgian with the hope that he could drop deeper on the pitch and play either alongside a holding midfielder or just in front of one, providing the link up play from the defense to Spurs' array of attacking players.
Exactly how that works out is still up in the air. Fulham used Dembele there upon occasion and while he showed flashes of being able to excel in that role, he also showed his inexperience there. His positioning left plenty to be desired and he seemed tentative to run at players, which he normally does really well, but isn't exactly under the list of duties for a more deep lying midfielder.
That said, he has the skills to play in a deeper role. He is plenty strong enough and his short passing, which will be vital in transitioning Spurs from defending to attacking, is excellent. His move will be an adjustment and might be rough at times, but the upside is certainly there and anyone who watched the passing show he put on at Old Trafford last weekend saw that.
It is clear that Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy had a plan for the money that the club would make off of the Modric sale and Dembele is step one. He is not Modric and will not be asked to fill the Croatian's shoes, merely play in a somewhat similar place on the field. Modric's duties will now be spread out among a few players, Dembele included.
Whether Dembele is up to the task remains to be seen. There is no doubt that he is a quality player and would be welcome at most clubs in the world, some bigger than Spurs, but Villas-Boas will have a very specific role for him and one that different than what he is used to.
The post-Modric era is here and the spending has started. At £15 million, Dembele is the fourth most expensive signing in club history and there is another £15 million floating around, waiting to be spent.
Welcome to White Hart Lane, Moussa. You'll look great in Spurs white.
Not a member of Cartilage Free Captain? Sign up and start commenting. Everyone here is super fun. Follow us on social media for regular updates as well. You can also subscribe to our RSS Feed.