Mousa Dembele has been presented as a Guangzhou R&F player after completing his transfer to China from Tottenham Hotspur.
Photographs posted on the Chinese club’s website showed the Belgian midfielder posing with a club scarf in front of the Guangzhou crest after sealing his move. He was also given a tour of the training facilities by coach Dragan Stojkovic.
Tottenham confirmed in a statement they had reached agreement with the Chinese Super League side subject to international clearance. The statement read: ‘We have reached agreement with Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F for the transfer of Mousa Dembele, subject to international clearance. We wish Mousa all the best for the future.’
Guangzhou have paid Spurs £11million for a player who made 249 appearances in all competitions for the London club since signing from Fulham in 2012. With just six months remaining on his contract, Spurs allowed the 31-year-old to leave and Guangzhou R&F pipped Super League rivals Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande to his signature.
He has only appeared 13 times this season, with the likes of Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko earning more playing time. Dembele has also not played since suffering an injury and being substituted after just seven minutes in their victory at Wolves on November 3. The midfielder has made 82 appearances for Belgium during a 12-year international career, and has featured at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, as well as Euro 2016.
The midfielder said in an interview shown on Spurs’ Twitter account: ‘I’ve always had a good experience here. I go away with an unbelievable feeling and with a certain love for the club. You always want this, because you have a long period at a club, you have a lot of love for the club but sometimes you separate in a bad way and I don’t feel that way.
‘Even the reaction I’ve had from the supporters, everyone is positive with me. They’ve wished me a lot of luck and happiness. The club is part of my family now.’ Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen said: ‘You have to ask the players who have played against Mousa or with Mousa to get the appreciation he deserves. Sometimes it made me angry a bit that people talked about the best midfielders in the Premier League and haven’t named Mousa, but I feel like he got that appreciation over the last two years.’