Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has reiterated just how highly he rates midfield ace Mousa Dembele, putting him next to some legendary names.
There is no denying that the 30-year-old is a top-class player, but injuries have certainly played their part in his career as he has perhaps failed to hit the heights that he was capable of.
Nevertheless, with 225 appearances for Tottenham under his belt and 70 caps for Belgium, he has been a key figure for club and country for years, and there’s no denying that he’s been put in some seriously impressive company by Pochettino in his comments below.
“I have said before that he is a genius of football. I put him next to Maradona, Ronaldinho and Jay Jay Okocha, players I’ve been lucky enough to play with. For me he’s one of the unbelievable talents in the history of football,” he told the media on Friday, as per the tweet below from ESPN’s Ben Pearce.
#thfc Pochettino on Mousa Dembele: “I told you he was a genius, and for me he’s this type of player. I’ve told you, I put him next to Ronaldinho, Maradona, Okocha – players I’ve been lucky enough to play with. For me hes one of the unbelievable talents in the history of football”
— Ben Pearce (@BenPearceSpurs) February 23, 2018
Naturally, Dembele won’t be able to achieve what those players did during their glittering careers, but ultimately what Pochettino is talking about here is pure footballing ability as Dembele’s physicality, awareness, technical quality and all-round game makes him a standout player.
He should know better than most having played alongside both Maradona and Ronaldinho during his playing years at Newell’s Old Boys and Paris Saint-Germain respectively, but it’s still going to be a statement that is considered contentious and gets people talking.
As mentioned above, Dembele is a quality individual. Whether he possesses the same raw talent that the illustrious names Pochettino has mentioned above is up for debate.