A fluent runner with the ball, Mousa Dembele starred for Fulham after his move from Belgium and his part in the club's run to the Europa League final brought him to the attention of Tottenham Hotspur.
Beginning his playing days at Belgian club K. Bercham Youth and was spotted by Germinal Beerschot, who snapped him and put him straight into the first team in 2003. His time in the first team brought attention from other clubs and he moved to Willem II in Holland. The one season he was with the club was a disappointment with them finishing down the table, although personally, it was a good one, with Mousa netting nine goals. He became hot property and AZ Alkmaar moved in and Dembele signed for Louis van Gaal's side in the summer of 2006.
The first season at Alkmaar saw Mousa's new club lose the title on the last day of the season, ending third, finish runners-up in the Dutch Cup on penalties, after Dembele had put them ahead in the second minute and then AZ lost the Champions League play-off to Ajax to make it a sad end to what had been a promising season.
The following season saw AZ drop down the table, but in 2008-09, they rose up the table to finish champions and although Mousa missed a couple of months at the end of 2008 with a knee injury, he returned to be regarded as one of the best players in the Eredivisie.
This attracted interest from English clubs and when it looked likely that the Belgian would sign for Birmingham City, he had a change of heart and Fulham moved into take him to Craven Cottage for £5 million. His languid style and ability to turn away from opponents in tight spaces in midfield opened up play for the West London side. Added to this, he scored his club's goal of the season when running from the halfway line to slot past Spurs keeper Heurelho Gomes.
New manager Martin Jol deployed Dembele further up the pitch in a creator's role, just behind the strikers and he enjoyed the new position, but when a new deal was proposed he did not enter into negotiations, meaning that at the end of the 2011-12 season, when Tottenham met his escape clause fee of £12 million, he moved to White Hart Lane as Andre Villas-Boas began his tenure as Tottenham manager.
Played as one of two midfielders in front of the back four, Mousa found a new level of performance, breaking up the opposition's play and then using his strength on the ball to spark new Tottenham attacks. He came on as a substitute to score on his debut against Norwich City, but the goals did not flow from the big man's boots. Although he possesses a fierce shot, he did not get effort sin on goal often enough during his first campaign for the club. However, he did work well in partnership with Sandro, until the Brazilian's injury giving Spurs a new dimension with his strong running from deep positions. When he makes his forward forays, his running is so smooth and his turns so tight, it belies the size of the man.
At the start of the 2013-14 season, the team was re-structured in the light a number of new players coming in and Mousa struggled initially, looking like he was struggling for fitness in the early stages of the season, but started to show the form that made him such a handful after a few games.