Mousa Dembele Leaves Tottenham Hotspur for Guangzhou R&F

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2019

Mousa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur FC during the UEFA Champions League group C match between PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Phillips stadium on October 24, 2018 in Eindhoven, The Netherlands(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Mousa Dembele completed his move from Tottenham Hotspur to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F on Thursday, with the deal subject to international clearance.

Spurs announced his departure via Twitter:

Journalist Kristof Terreur relayed an image of Dembele's unveiling at his new club:

The 31-year-old travelled to China earlier this week, although it wasn't clear which club he would be joining initially:

Dembele hadn't featured for Spurs since November, when he lasted just seven minutes before picking up an injury in a win over Wolverhampton Wanderers. His contract was set to run out at the end of the season, so Spurs opted to avoid losing him for free in the summer.

He joined Tottenham from Fulham in 2012 and quickly established himself as a key member of the team's midfield. Known for his ability to retain possession under pressure, his contributions never registered on the stat sheet but stood out nonetheless.

The Mirror's John Cross summed it up like this:

Football analyst Michael Cox also chipped in:

Dembele has shown world-class form in spells over the past three seasons, but injuries have taken their toll in this campaign, and manager Mauricio Pochettino has opted for other players in midfield. The emergence of Harry Winks and the strong play of Moussa Sissoko, in particular, opened the door for an exit.

The midfielder becomes the third Belgium international to make the switch to the Chinese Super League. Axel Witsel was the first in 2017―although he returned to Europe last summer, signing with Borussia Dortmund―and Yannick Carrasco followed suit last season.

Both those players kept their spots in the national team, and Dembele will likely follow suit unless he decides to no longer feature for the Red Devils. Given his lengthy injury record and age, that is not out of the question.

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