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Mousa Dembele taking the game to Tromso.
Mousa Dembele has taken a little time to settle down this season. Though not helped by his manager's experimentation with Tottenham's different midfield personnel (the Belgian included), he was also a tad sluggish by his own dynamic standards.
Over the past two matches the signs have been there that Dembele is finding form—a timely development for him given the competition for places in his position right now.
Well it seemed to be, before the conspiratorially named Lars Gunnar Johnsen caused the Spurs midfielder to be stretchered off in the second half (at the time of writing his injury status had not been confirmed).
Operating from a deeper starting position in the wins over both Norwich City and Tromso, the greater scope to influence proceedings here had been beneficial to Dembele's game. Rather than the more forward role he primarily found himself in against Arsenal.
In the latter match especially, he enjoyed being able to run at the Norwegian side after a quick surveying of the options in front of him. In both, he dictated play succinctly and positively.
Arguably, most promising from the win over Norwich was how Dembele and Paulinho combined such play with equally valuable defensive work. All afternoon they helped swiftly deny many a hopeful attempt by the Canaries to create and advance.
The hope now is Dembele will not be too long (if at all) denied the opportunity to continue this developing vein of form.