Tottenham: Why Moussa Dembele Will Be a Major Part of European Push at Spurs

Frank WagnerCorrespondent IMay 22, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 14:  Moussa Dembele of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Internazionale Milano and Tottenham Hotspur at San Siro Stadium on March 14, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

After yet another late-season disappointment, Tottenham are headed for the Europa League next season.

However, while supporters of the north London club are sure to be hurting from the tough manner in which the club missed out on the Champions League, this should not stop them from looking forward to the club's European pursuits next season.

This past season's Europa League campaign ended with a penalty loss to Basel in the quarterfinals. One would hope that the club can improve on that result and push for European glory this time around.

Meanwhile, after missing the Champions League by one point for the second consecutive season, Spurs will hope that they can find a way to break into the Premier League's top four.

With the summer transfer window approaching, the focus at Tottenham is on the transfer rumors surrounding superstar Gareth Bale, per The Guardian, and the possible players who will be coming into White Hart Lane this summer.

One of the most important keys to next season, though, is being ignored.

Midfielder Moussa Dembele had a fantastic opening season at Spurs.

After transferring from Fulham last summer, the Belgian settled right in and scored on his Premier League debut.

Despite some injury issues, the 25-year-old was still able to contribute to the club throughout the season.

In fact, there is one incredibly flattering statistic that speaks to Dembele's importance at Tottenham over the past nine months: Spurs won just one of the eight league matches that Dembele missed while winning 20 of the 30 in which he played.

This record could be due to the Belgian's ability to hold the ball and ride tackles. With the side playing a high line, even Spurs' talented defenders have found it quite helpful to have a player to keep possession and provide a link from defense to attack.

Further, Dembele was able to score one of the most memorable goals of Tottenham's season, hitting an unstoppable long-range shot in the last minute of a match with Lyon to send Spurs through the round of 32 of the Europa League.

If Dembele is able to stay fit for the entirety of the 2013-14 season, it will be a huge boost to Spurs' aspirations for the season.

Should he miss as many or even more matches due to injury, though, Tottenham could be put in a tough position and have to rely on any new talent they pull in this summer.

A lot of Spurs' success next season could ride on Moussa Dembele.

What's more, given that he's just 25, Dembele's impact on Tottenham's European aspirations could run even further.