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Evaluate who should be considered the best player

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They play in the same position. They have the same kind of stallion about them. They even have last names that resemble either side of a Pokémon evolution. And they share Tottenham’s loyalty, just at different times.

When Tanguy Ndombele entered Lyon’s starting XI at the end of 2017, all Spurs fans who watched Ligue 1 (a fairly small number of people) or who knew their way on YouTube (a slightly larger number of people) could see the similarities to Mousa Dembele, then approaching his final shots as a starter in north London and in need of a long-term replacement.

So when Tottenham did the smart thing and actually bought Ndombele a few years later, there would still be comparisons between the two. Now that the Frenchman is finally showing his potential, the question comes back.

Who is better? Our boys on the “Oh What a Night” podcast discussed this recently, but let’s break it down.

The most valuable trait of a central midfielder, but there really is only one winner here.

Ndombele has his eye on a pass as if he pushed the cursors on FIFA to make them all precise. He spams the X button and finds his man around the corner, up between the lines.

Meanwhile, Dembele must have been nerfed to Football Manager due to his exceptional play, but this limited his “vision” stat to unique characters.

No competition.

Winner: Tanguy Ndombele

Wishing Douglas Costa the best of luck here
We wish Douglas Costa the best of luck here | MIGUEL MEDINA / Getty Images

Ooh, my boy. Watching compilations of these two really works a sweat. Two of the most gifted and aesthetically pleasing midfielders these coasts have seen this century.

Ndombele’s style isn’t quite perfect – in fact he looks quite flawed – but he makes a habit of holding the ball when all hope seems lost. It defies logic.

Unfortunately for him, nothing compares to the sight of Dembele making his way through the pitch with the ball tied to his left foot by a small piece of string.

Winner: Mousa Dembele

Mousa Dembele, Roberto Firmino
Never fully treated as Dembele is 6’1 | Visionhaus / Getty Images

Credit is due to Ndombele, who last season looked so unfit at times that he seemed to be running in slow motion. No, I’m not talking about jogging. But now he covers every blade of grass and finishes full games, despite spending a lot of time playing without. 10 and the rather unbalanced press of Spurs.

Dembele has played a huge number of games in a two-man midfielder for a Spurs side who conceded just 26 Premier League goals in the 2016/17 season. Not entirely his of course, but his projection in front of the defense was an underrated part of his game.

To really understand why he has these two categories, a stat (via WhoScored) so good that I really hesitated when I first checked his legitimacy – in the 2015/16 Premier League season, Dembele s’ is engaged in a total of 207 tackles and dribbles, but only failed in 20 of them.

Winner: Mousa Dembele

however, all this time playing deeply took a toll on Dembele’s offensive stats. In 250 games for Tottenham, he has scored just 10 goals. Ten.

Maybe it was a psychological thing (he started the 2010s as a striker and ended it in midfield) or maybe it was a childhood thing (he was so good as a kid that the way to level the playing field was to ask Dembele not to shoot), but anyway Ndombele takes the loot due to a strike rate of over one in 25.

It’s one in 11, but it counts.

Winner: Tanguy Ndombele

I’m just going to list some testimonials (via Soccer AM) from current and former Spurs players as to why they considered Mousa Dembele the best player at the club under Mauricio Pochettino.

Dele Alli: “Her feet are amazing. He’s so tall too, he just moves his body, I don’t know how he does it. ”

Eric Dier: “I don’t think anyone will give you a different answer, to be honest. He’s a bit of a freak of nature. Physically he’s a monster, and he has ballerina feet at the same time, so he’s quite special. ”

Victor Wanyama: “The best Spurs player is Mousa Dembele because he easily passes the players in training and in games. You know what he’s going to do but you can’t get the ball. He’s very strong and his dribbling is very simple but you can’t get the ball, amazing. “

Danny Rose: “If there is anyone I would pay to watch it would be Mousa Dembele. He is incredible. Just how he plays the game, he makes it so easy. He walks past the players, you know which direction he’s going to go too which makes things worse. You just can’t attack it. “

Harry Winks: “He has pure power, his rhythm, his strength, his technique too, with both feet. The way he can beat any player, against them we have so many better players on the squad, I could probably sit here and make a list of everyone who could be a candidate (for the best Spurs player), but the one coming out for me is Mousa. “

Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele
Must have heard our verdict | Michael Regan / Getty Images

At a time when Tottenham competed in title races for the first time in around 500 years, where they reached a Champions League final, where Harry Kane defeated Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a calendar year, c It is Dembele who stood out among his peers.

Until Ndombele achieves that kind of status, he just has to keep putting in the tough yards, adding more goals and assists. Maybe we’ll come back to this in a few years and the answer will be vastly different. But for now, Dembele takes the crown.

Winner: Mousa Dembele

To learn more about Sean Walsh, follow him on Twitter!

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