Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has heaped praise on Mousa Dembele ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League last-16 tie with Juventus.
Spurs welcome the Serie A champions to Wembley on Wednesday having secured a 2-2 draw in the first leg in Turin thanks to goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
French midfielder Blaise Matuidi is set to return from injury for the visitors, and Lampard admitted he is excited to watch the 30-year-old do battle with Dembele in midfield.
Writing in his column for the London Evening Standard, Lampard recalled facing Dembele during his playing says.
“I played against Dembele when he was at Fulham and in his early days at Tottenham,” wrote the former Chelsea and England midfielder. “I wasn’t quite sure what kind of player he was back then.
“He was playing in a more advanced role. He could beat you left and right but there was no massive end product to justify being so far up the pitch.
“Now he has adapted his game to play deeper and still uses his ability to dribble past people. Not many midfielders can do that.”
Dembele has received numerous plaudits in recent weeks following a string of impressive performances in big games for Tottenham.
The Belgian has dominated the likes Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and of course Juventus already in 2018, and Spurs will require him to be at the top of his game again on Wednesday.
Despite struggling with various injuries over the last few seasons, Dembele has become one of Tottenham’s most dependable players under Mauricio Pochettino.
As a result of those fitness issues, the club is reportedly on the lookout for a long-term replacement for the former Fulham man. But Spurs fans will be hoping Dembele isn’t finished yet.