Football News

Have Spurs found their new Eriksen-Dembele duo? Tottenham beat Bournemouth 2-0

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:33, 26 August 2023

James Maddison went a long way to vindicating the words of Joe Cole as Tottenham ran out 2-0 winners over Bournemouth this afternoon.

Before kick-off at Vitality Stadium, the former Chelsea and West Ham forward predicted Maddison would go down as the “best signing of the summer” following a bright start to his Spurs journey.


The 26-year-old England midfielder was Tottenham’s most high-profile acquisition this summer after relocating from relegated Leicester City for a reported £40m.

Maddison — named alongside Cristian Romero as the club’s vice-captains with Son Heung-min wearing the armband — started in their Premier League opener at Brentford, creating both Tottenham goals as they were held to a 2-2 draw. He then played a quiet but effective role as Spurs inflicted a 2-0 defeat on Man Utd on matchday two.

“The more I think about it he could be the best signing of the summer,” Cole told TNT Sports. “I am so excited for him, especially the way Ange plays. Look at the players that have played that position at Spurs, [Glenn] Hoddle, [Paul] Gascoigne, [Luka] Modric. Ange giving him the VC shows how astute and clever he is. James is a leader.”

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It didn’t take him long to make an impact when he became the 166th player (excluding own goals) to score for Spurs in the Premier League era, a competition record, surpassing Newcastle United (165) and West Ham (165).

Not only was this his first strike in all-white, but since the start of the 2021/22 season, only Harry Kane (31) and Mohamed Salah (33) have been involved in more away Premier League goals than James Maddison (13 goals and 10 assists).

Furthermore, the England international has been involved in 18 goals in his last 20 away Premier League appearances (nine goals and nine assists), scoring one and assisting two in two away games for Spurs.

Maddison hitting the ground running undoubtedly puts a smile on head coach Ange Postecoglou, but the form of Yves Bissouma, who seldom featured under Antonio Conte last season, has been the story of Tottenham’s campaign so far.

Bissouma was peerless against Brentford and then Man Utd earning man-of-the-match accolades in both games, and the former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder is showing no signs of letting up.

No one in the visiting team won more duels (9), possessions (6) and interceptions (2) than Bissouma who has drawn comparisons with club great Mousa Dembélé, who excelled in a box-to-box midfield role, much in the same vein as Maddison filling the void long vacated by creative Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Neither were involved as Dejan Kulusevski doubled Spurs’ lead. He rounded off a Destiny Udogie’s cross meaning, when you consider Pape Matar Sarr created Maddison’s go-ahead goal, Tottenham have had two players under the age of 21 assist a goal in a Premier League game for the first time since December 2007 against Fulham (Tom Huddlestone and Aaron Lennon).

It’s still too early to make any sweeping conclusions but going by the numbers they are producing Postecoglou’s team look a far different proposition than Conte’s side.