Dembele: Finishing above Liverpool in fifth can help Spurs to attract summer signings
EXCLUSIVE: Mousa Dembele says Tottenham’s success in overtaking Liverpool on the final day of the season and securing a fifth-place finish can help them to attract their transfer targets this summer.
Spurs’ 1-0 victory at Everton, coupled with Liverpool’s astonishing 6-1 defeat at Stoke, meant the Lilywhites leapfrogged Brendan Rodgers’ outfit on Sunday.
And, while there was just two points between the clubs in the final standings, Dembele feels the fact that Tottenham have ended the campaign as the closest team to the top four could be a valuable factor when it comes to luring potential signings to White Hart Lane.
“It can be something good to let people know that we are right there,” he said. “Of course it’s a difference if you’re fifth or sixth, mentally, for other players, so that’s probably a good thing for the club.
“We’re very happy. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy at Everton but we played a very good first half. We gave a message to them from the first minute and I think we were very positive about the game. Everyone wanted to be fifth.
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“As a team, there were ups and downs this season – some moments we were playing very very well and then other moments less well.
“In the end we want to have the Champions League, and we know we have the quality as a group to play in the Champions League, but of course we have to learn from this year and hopefully next year we will be much better. It was the first year with the new manager and a certain style and I’m sure next year will be better.”
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It has been a frustrating end to the season for Dembele from a personal point of view. The enigmatic Belgian was given the No10 role at the end of January and enjoyed a string of fine displays against Sheffield United, West Brom, Arsenal and Liverpool, but he had a dreadful first half in the 2-2 draw at home against West Ham on Februrary 22, being substituted at half-time, and he has found himself on the fringes ever since.
While he has been used as a substitute on nine occasions, Sunday’s trip to Everton was his first start for three months, and the midfielder showed what he is capable of with a strong and skilful display before coming off injured after 53 minutes.
“I always want to play so of course it’s [been] a big disappointment for me, but I can’t stand still with the disappointment,” said Dembele. “I need to think about myself as well, what to do better or why I don’t play, and what to do. I want to play much more, of course.
“Even though I can play in a few positions I think I can be the first [choice], but I don’t know how the manager thinks.”
Asked if he has hampered by any injury issues during the last three months, Dembele replied: “No, I’ve been fit.”
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