Tottenham Hotspur's Mousa Dembele Likely Out Until January with Ankle Injury

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2018

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur is led off the pitch injured during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at Molineux on November 3, 2018 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)
Lynne Cameron/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele could be out for the remainder of the year after he suffered an ankle injury in Spurs' 3-2 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers

Spurs announced the news after performing scans on the Belgium international's injury:

Tottenham Hotspur @SpursOfficial

TEAM NEWS: @mousadembele (ankle) - scans have confirmed ligament damage to right ankle and is unlikely to be available until the New Year. https://t.co/twfAUTMoKh

Dembele limped out of the Wolves clash on Saturday after just seven minutes.

The Lilywhites have 12 matches remaining in 2018, including some key clashes against Inter Milan, Barcelona and Chelsea, not to mention two north London derbies against bitter rivals Arsenal.

Dembele is a combative presence for Spurs in midfield. He's a committed ball-winner who will regain possession for the side and look to transition the team from defence to attack, and his physicality makes it difficult to muscle him off the ball.

It's far from ideal for Spurs to be without him for such a crucial part of the season, though manager Mauricio Pochettino also provided a more positive update on some of their other options, per Football.London's Alasdair Gold:

Alasdair Gold @AlasdairGold

Poch on Mousa Dembele: "We hope that from the beginning of January he will be ready. It's very dynamic the evolution of the recovery. Of course we have some players back like Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama, we'll see tomorrow if they can be fit for Saturday."

The pair can help replace some of Dembele's steel in the centre, while the 22-year-old Harry Winks could be set to play an important role in providing cover as well.

Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard believes Dembele's injury does not bode well for the midfielder's future at the club, though:

Dan Kilpatrick @Dan_KP

#thfc Dembele is out of contract in the summer & free to discuss a transfer with foreign clubs in January. Feels like this injury could be the beginning of the end for him at Spurs.

The problem looks to be pushing the 31-year-old towards the exit at Tottenham.

Dembele has not been an eye-catching star in the Spurs team like Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen or Dele Alli, but his often unrecognised work has been crucial in helping them become a force at the top end of the Premier League in recent years.

Spurs must use the coming weeks as an opportunity to see how well the likes of Winks, Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama manage in terms of replacing Dembele, and the club may have to dip into the January transfer market if those players fail to convince.