Debut hero Dembele hails the arrival of Spurs’ latest signing
Mousa Dembele has hailed the arrival of Clint Dempsey, who followed him from Fulham to Tottenham in the final hours of deadline day.
Dembele swapped Craven Cottage for White Hart Lane in a �15million move last Wednesday – and Fulham boss Martin Jol lost another of his biggest stars to his old club on Friday night as Spurs swooped again to snap up Dempsey for �6m.
The 29-year-old American struck 23 goals in 45 games last season – and Dembele is thrilled to have been reunited with his prolific former team-mate so quickly.
“I sent him a message,” said Dembele. “I was very happy because he is a fantastic player. He is a good boy so I am very happy that he is here.
“Clint is always so dangerous. If he plays, he is so hungry to score goals. He fights, it is fantastic to have him in the team. He works as hard as two men, and I’d prefer to have him in my team rather than play against him.”
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Dempsey will hope to emulate Dembele’s feat of scoring on his Spurs debut, after the Belgian international came off the bench at half-time to give Tottenham the lead over Norwich on Saturday.
However, the Lilywhites threw away the lead for the second week in a row as Robert Snodgrass equalised five minutes from time, ruining Dembele’s fairytale of a debut winner in front of the home fans at White Hart Lane.
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“I’m quite disappointed,” said Dembele. “I’m happy that I scored but I would be happier if we got the three points.
“I found out before the game that I would be starting on the bench. For me it wasn’t a bad thing - I could keep an eye on how the team plays and see what I would have to do when I came on, so it was okay, but at the end they scored.
“I think it is very clear what the manager wants me to do. He said to me ‘play your game like you always play’ and he tried to give me confidence. That’s the only thing a player needs.
“This is a very big club and the stadium is nice. All the boys were fantastic with me when I came in. It’s a very warm club and that’s why I chose Tottenham as well.”
While Dembele knows Dempsey well from their time together in west London, he is also very familiar with another of Spurs’ summer signings – his fellow Belgian Jan Vertonghen.
“We played together when I was 11 years old [at Germinal Beerschot], so I know Jan very well,” said Dembele. “He lives not far from me so he is a friend of mine, and it’s good to play with him as well.”
Norwich’s Bradley Johnson is well aware of Dembele’s talents, having faced him twice this season already.
Fulham thrashed the Canaries 5-0 at Craven Cottage on the opening day of the season, with Dembele pulling the strings – and Johnson believes that Tottenham’s talented new midfielder is a stellar signing.
“I was happy to see that he was on the bench to be fair - but he’s a great player and every time I’ve played against him at Fulham he’s done well,” said Johnson.
“Tottenham have got a great signing there in Dembele - he’s a world-class player. He only came on at half-time and he’s changed the game for them.
“Whenever you sign for a new team you don’t expect to start, but he’s come on and played his part and got the goal.
“I think he ran the show when we were down there [at Fulham] two weeks ago and it’s always good to see him on the bench and not doing the same again.
“He’s one of the best midfielders I’ve played against in this league, and he’ll do well for Tottenham.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs