Even Eden Hazard can’t compete as stats crown Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele the league's best dribbler

Evening Standard
Making his mark: Mousa Dembele: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images
Making his mark: Mousa Dembele: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Harry Winks' recent assessment of Mousa Dembele will come as no surprise to Tottenham fans.

"[Dembele's] different class with his balance, his strength and his technique - he’s one of the best I’ve ever played with in my life," insisted the 20-year-old.

Dele Alli holds Dembele in similarly high regard while Mauricio Pochettino has previously described the Belgian midfielder as a 'footballing genius'.

The 29-year-old has certainly not been a stranger to praise during his spell at White Hart Lane and, having been regularly paired alongside new signing Victor Wanyama, is enjoying another impressive campaign in the Spurs engine room.

Dembele's role requires plenty of dirty work in regards to defensive duties but he is also needed to push forward and contribute to attacks.

When Spurs are in transition Dembele is often at the centre of the move, dictating play with a unique, languid style that appears effortless but is evidently difficult to stop.

Dembele's dribbling completion rate (86%) is higher than any other player in England's top tier to have attempted 50 dribbles this season, according to data courtesy of EA SPORTS, such is the impact he makes with the ball at his feet.

Dembele's statistics equate to a successful dribble every 26 minutes and he has only failed with 10 of the 71 dribbles he has attempted this term.

Perhaps unsurprisingly Chelsea's Eden Hazard is out in front in regards to completed dribbles - with a total almost double that of his compatriot - but the Blues winger is still 8% shy of Dembele's completion rate.

Crucially, Dembele also boasts a superb pass completion rate in the opposition's half of the pitch, where space and time are constantly at a premium.

Dembele has completed 92% of his passes in the opposition's half this season; a higher completion rate than any other player to have attempted 700 or more in the same area of the pitch.

A host of other players have completed more passes than Dembele - including colleague Wanyama - but the Belgian's precision should not be understated.

Dembele has misplaced just 94 passes in the opposition's half to date this term and is expected to continue to be a crucial figure during the run-in.

Spurs travel to Burnley on Saturday afternoon aiming to solidify their place in the top four with victory over Sean Dyche's side.

The Clarets have a solid record at Turf Moor this season, having conceded just 12 goals on home turf, and are likely to prove to be a tough nut to crack.

Dembele will be hopeful he can help to prise the hosts open.

Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League.

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