In a surprise last-minute twist of the transfer window, Clint Dempsey moved across London to join Tottenham from Fulham on a three-year deal. The US international arrives at the Lane for a fee in the region of £6m and is the third midfielder to arrive at the club this summer, following the acquisition of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Moussa Dembele:
Despite being linked with Liverpool all summer, the mooted move to Anfield never came to fruition, while Dempsey is also believed to have rejected a move to Villa after the club had a bid for his services accepted. The 29-year-old seems relieved to finally have sorted his future and talked up the prospect of playing under his new boss, Andre Villas-Boas:
I’m very excited and looking forward to the challenge. To play under this Head Coach and play for this club is a dream come true. I want to make the most of it and work as hard as I can to get onto the field and do well. There are a lot of great players here, I’m looking forward to training and playing with them and trying to fight for a spot in the team.
Dempsey’s career began in his native country for New England Revolution. Making his debut in 2003-04, he turned out 71 times for the club over the period of three seasons, where his tally of 25 goals and 13 assists was enough to convince Fulham to shell out a reported £2m for his services in January 2007.
Over his five-and-a-half seasons at Craven Cottage, Dempsey played under a variety of managers, though it was only in the past couple of campaigns that he really came to the fore as a reliable source of goals from midfield. From 2006-07 to 2009-10, he grabbed 21 goals and seven assists from 110 appearances but consecutive campaigns under Roy Hodgson and Martin Jol saw the US international find the net with far greater consistency. In 2010-11, while playing for the now-England manager, Dempsey plundered 12 goals and four assists, though last time out under Martin Jol was by easily his most successful; 17 goals and seven assists saw Dempsey explode as a Fantasy phenomenon, finishing the season as the top scoring midfielder in Fantasy Premier League (FPL).
From a Fantasy perspective, a stay at Fulham would have been ideal. Even a move to Liverpool would at least have us certain of Dempsey’s starting position, with Brendan Rodgers pencilling in a role on the left of the front three – instead, the move to Spurs has given us plenty to ponder. Despite the departure of Rafael Van der Vaart, we are left with a huge midfield quandary on our hands – providing Spurs start to regularly produce under Villas-Boas, of course. Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Gareth Bale racked up 5.6, 5.6 and 5.4 FPL points per game respectively last season and are all capable of explosive, double figure points hauls in any given Gameweek.
As to Dempsey’s starting role, much may depend on whether Villas-Boas feel he now has the necessary personnel to facilitate a move to 4-3-3 or, having failed to capture Joao Moutinho, the Spurs boss may decide to stick with a 4-2-3-1 for now. A reprisal of his left flank role for Fulham at the expense of Bale is clearly out of the question, though he may rival Sigurdsson for a position in “the hole” behind a lone forward – the Icelandic star has struggled to impress Villas-Boas and, from his two starts in three, has lasted 67 minutes at best before being hauled off.
Alternatively, Dempsey could oust Aaron Lennon on the right in either of the formations. Looking at his game time so far, though, the former Leeds man has played every minute under Villas-Boas – his total of 270 to Sigurdsson’s 140 is perhaps a sign that he might not be the one to drop out to accommodate Dempsey.
With just three goals and two points from the opening trio of fixtures, Villas-Boas is hardly in a position to ease Dempsey into first-team action. Perhaps the only concern is his lack of pre-season game time – a factor that has affected Emmanuel Adebayor upon his return to the club, with the Togo international yet to start as he builds up his match sharpness.
Priced at 8.6 in the Sky Sports game and 9.3 in FPL, Dempsey – given his side’s current form – looks too pricey a risk right now, despite a kind run of fixtures which pits him against (rdg, QPR, AVL) in the next four Gameweeks. The potential is obvious, as is the case with Bale and Sigurdsson, but, until Villas-Boas’ team begin to gel, there are too many in-form midfield alternatives that currently offer far greater security.
Commenting is now closed for this post.
For Gameweek 38
- van Persie
Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
|OoP||Out of Position|
“I love to attack and I love to go up front...It is a little more difficult than when you are playing centre-back. If you play the way that I want to play, I think my influence is better as a left-back. For the team, it is best that I play as a centre-back. I like to bring the ball out. You need to move the game quickly, and that is one of my qualities as well.”Jan Vertonghen outlines what he feels is his best position for Andre Villas-Boas