Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino was full of praise for midfielder Mousa Dembele after his side’s 1-0 win over Arsenal on Saturday, labelling the Belgian a ‘genius’.
Harry Kane stole the headlines again by scoring the only goal of the game to grant Spurs victory in the North London Derby – and was named man of the match in the process.
However, Tottenham were driven forward by Dembele, who has been in excellent form of late and put in another masterful performance at Wembley.
The Spurs deep-lying playmaker was sublime in possession, while his endless energy and desire to win the ball back were also there for all to see.
Pochettino picked Dembele out for praise after the Tottenham win, stating that it was crucial that the 30-year-old stays fit for the remainder of the season.
“I think last season he played so well, and then at the end of the season he suffered a problem in his ankle, struggled during pre-season and now is again feeling good,” Football London quote the Spurs boss as saying.
“I think the problem is about his fitness, no? Because, that is about his quality, there is no doubt that like I have told you many times, for me he is a genius, an unbelievable player.
“But we must be careful about his fitness, it is good and he can train and, he can make this type of performance because he is a great talented player.”
Dembele’s attributes are so unique, with few central midfielders in world football able to equal the Tottenham man’s dribbling ability and mix of brains and brawn.
The Spurs playmaker was unlucky not to be named man of the match and having him fit and firing is great news for the North London club.
Dembele in the past has often been substituted as 90 minutes seem beyond him given the intensity with which he plays the game, but the Belgium international completed the win over Arsenal – working hard to the final whistle.
The challenge for the 30-year-old will be staying physically fit for the remainder of the campaign, especially as games come in thick and fast.
With a short turn around until the Champions League clash against Juventus on Tuesday night, Tottenham fans will hope that the in-form Dembele can recuperate suitably to start the game in Turin.