3 Apr 2016

Carra raves: 'Fantastic' £15m powerhouse was 'best player on the pitch' for Liverpool/Spurs. Agree?

Liverpool attacker Philippe Coutinho (deservedly) received the man-of-the-match award for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, but according to Reds legend Jamie Carragher, one of Spurs' stars outperformed the exciting Brazilian.

Analysing the game on Sky Sports^ last night, Carra raved:

"Dembele was the best player on the pitch. Absolutely fantastic, and there are similarities with Petit, and Patrick Vieira in the way he drives his team forward".

Liverpool were linked with Dembele back in 2013, and at the time, Reds legend John Aldridge urged his old club to sign the Belgian midfielder:

"One name at the top of my shopping list is Mousa Dembele. You need to [sign] the very best in the Premier League, and he would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool".

Thankfully, Liverpool failed to sign Dembele - he's yet another central midfielder with poor end product, and his record for Spurs starkly illustrates this:

* 9 goals/8 assists in 153 games (Goal every 1100 mins. Goal/Assist every 532 mins).

* Never scored more than 2 goals in one season for Spurs until this season (currently on 3 in all competitions).

This is fine for a defensive midfielder, but Dembele is *not* a DM - he's a box-to-box midfielder who prefers to attack, and he confirmed this a few months ago:

"It's nice that I am playing more offensively at Tottenham. Now I can go on to score goals".

In some ways, Dembele reminds me of Emre Can: good defensively, but lacks guile, vision, and - importantly - consistent end product in the final third. After watching Dembele on Saturday, he also has a tendency to dawdle on the ball and/or keep hold of it too long, which is one of Can's most expasperating traits.

As for £15m-rated Dembele being the 'best player on the pitch' during the Liverpool-Spurs game; defensively, it's possible, but when it comes to overall performance, Coutinho had a significantly bigger personal impact on the game (though he deserves massive criticism from Klopp for diving).

^ Transcribed whilst watching live

Author: Jaimie K


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