Mousa Dembele wants his future at Tottenham Hotspur sorted before the new Premier League season begins, and he's unhappy with his role in the club, says a report in the Standard today. Simon Johnson writes that the Belgian midfielder wants to discuss the situation with manager Mauricio Pochettino when he reports for training.
"After the holidays," he told the media, "I'll talk to the boss about my future at Spurs. We will see."
Dembele was a forgotten man in the Tottenham midfield last season. While he saw action both in the pivot as a central midfielder and in hole as a defensive #10, Dembele was on the bench more than not, backing up players like Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb, and Paulinho in the Spurs lineup. He's clearly not favored by Pochettino, but unlike players like Paulinho and Etienne Capoue, there have been few rumors linking him away from the club this summer.
Dembele is a player that has his uses, and I've never fully understood why Pochettino didn't use him more often last season. He played striker at his old club AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie, and played a lot as an attacking midfielder at Fulham. We've seen for Spurs that he can be a very effective player when moved higher up the pitch and given license to press defenders, but it's not clear if he'll be given a chance to try and establish himself as a regular starter by Pochettino this season.
Dembele's comment hints that he may seek to depart the club if he can't be assured of regular football, which would be a shame. Of the non-starters in midfield, he's probably the one player I'd least like to see leave.