Kieran Trippier says Mousa Dembele would have helped Tottenham beat Liverpool in last season’s Champions League final, had Spurs not sold him.
Tottenham let Dembele leave for Chinese side Guangzhou R&F for £11million last January.
The Belgian had become one of Spurs‘ key players since his move in 2012, blossoming under Mauricio Pochettino.
And while injury ruled him out of most of his time with Spurs in the 2018/19 season before his departure, ex-Tottenham full-back Trippier says Dembele would have helped his former side to European glory.
“For me personally, selling Mousa Dembele,” Trippier said when asked why Spurs’ form dropped last term.
“You can ask anyone that’s played with him, he’s the best player I’ve ever played with. You can’t replace him
“We sold him in January. I personally feel, if we kept him for a further five months, we would have done a lot better. I think we would have won the final.”
As it was, Spurs were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in Madrid, the Reds lifting their sixth European Cup.
TRIPPIER’S “MIXED MESSAGES”
Trippier also opened up on how “mixed messages” from Spurs led to his exit for the Spanish capital last summer.
“I had mixed emotions throughout the season. Injuries played a massive part (on my form). I told them I needed surgery,” he told the Beautiful Game podcast.
“I could have been less selfish, playing-wise. But I couldn’t help it that I was getting picked most of the games. I was playing some of them at 60 or 70 per cent. Maybe I should have taken a step back, but we had [Manchester] City in the Champions League, Ajax.
“You want to play in these games. In March, April, I heard – through people I trust – they tried to offload me, offering me to clubs. So you’re getting mixed messages. If I play I’ll give my best, but that’s why I pulled the manager in pre-season and asked if I’m part of his plans.
I did knock on his door and tell him ‘I’ve got the chance to go to Atletico Madrid, (but) if I’m part of your plans I’ll stay’. He didn’t give me a yes or no in his office. So, as a player, you think ‘okay no problem’. I went to the chairman and said exactly the same.
“I haven’t really spoken to (Pochettino) since I left Tottenham, I have a lot to thank him for. I’ve never once bad-mouthed him. I just told how it was.”
Spurs’ form dropped further this season, leading to Pochettino’s sacking in November.
Tottenham appointed Jose Mourinho in his place and the club are battling to qualify for next season’s Champions League.