Tottenham Hotspur man Mousa Dembele is somewhat unique in modern football; a midfielder who possesses an eye for a pass, dribbling ability and strength both on and off the ball.
In a time when most who play in the centre of the park are specialists in just one area, you cannot pigeon-hole the Belgian and the latest stats from Sky Sports demonstrate why he is considered by the Spurs staff to be an indispensable member of the first team.
Of Premier League players with 300 or more passes to their name this season, Tottenham star Dembele comes out on top in terms of pass accuracy, ahead of the likes of Fernandinho, N’Golo Kante and Ilkay Gundogan.
However, it is his talent for turning on a sixpence in the tightest of spaces that really sets him apart; the 30-year-old also leads the way with the highest percentage of successful dribbles, of those who have attempted 40 or more, achieving an incredible 88%.
Never was his skill on the ball more evident than last Tuesday in Turin, when the Tottenham star dominated a Juventus midfield which included the likes of Miralem Pjanic and German World Cup winner Sami Khedira.
Whilst goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen earned the Lilywhites a 2-2 draw to put them in pole position to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, it was Dembele who was constantly available to receive possession, the pivot in the middle who started so many of Spurs’ attacks.
The amount of times he shrugged off challenges from his illustrious opponents was remarkable, a trait perhaps harnessed from the early days of his career spent as a striker.
Indeed, it is hard to find a real weakness in his game; some pundits criticise Dembele’s lack of goals but that is simply not his role in Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino’s setup.
The Spurs man is in the side to distribute the ball, to provide a link between the defence and attack and no-one does it better.
Last season, for example, Dembele started 24 Premier League matches, scoring just once, but Tottenham still finished the campaign with the division’s highest goals tally.
It is not necessary for him to contribute in that area and despite possessing a fairly hefty long-range strike, he would rather look for a pass and build pressure than take a risk with a speculative effort from distance.
Injuries have started to catch up with him in recent years but, as current form shows, Tottenham are still a stronger force with Dembele in the team.
Over the next few seasons Pochettino will be required to look for his midfield heir; it is fair to say that whoever comes in will have big shoes to fill.