Who got the better deal, Tottenham or Madrid?
Before you answer that, let us take a look at how the two players actually compare, with their two seasons so far.
Luka Modric - Cost: £30 million, Age: 27, Club: Real Madrid.
Moussa Dembele - Cost: £15 million, Age: 25, Club: Tottenham Hotspur.
Games: Modric - 10 starts, 6 substitute appearances. Dembele - 9 starts, 4 subsitute appearances.
Goals: Modric - 1. Dembele - 1.
Assists: Modric - 1. Dembele - 3.
Total league passes: Modric - 454 (average per game 41.3). Dembele - 416 (average per game 46.2).
League pass completion percentage: Modric 86.6 per cent. Dembele 88.9 per cent.
Total league dribbles: Modric - 17. Dembele - 17.
Total league tackles: Modric - 16 (average per game 1.5). Dembele - 30 (average per game 3.3)
Total league interceptions: Modric 17 (average per game 1.5) Dembele 15 (average per game 1.7)
Analysis: Looking at the above it is hard to argue Tottenham have not replaced Modric effectively; Dembele's performances have been as good if not better than the Croatian's in La Liga. Obviously there will be a degree of variation in the stats as the two players are playing in different leagues against different teams, but its hard to argue Modric has been sensational for Madrid, scoring just once and providing a solitary assist. He hasn't played 90 minutes in La Liga since November 17 and the club are third in La Liga, 11 points behind Barcelona, a team they finished above last season without Modric at their disposal.
Tottenham on the other hand are fighting for fourth spot, probably the best which could be expected considering the transition of a new manager, and suffered their worst run of form when Dembele was injured for a month. Scoring goals and assists has never been a statistical high for Modric, but nor has it been Dembele's. No player completed more passes in the Premier League last season than Modric (2,215) but it is interesting to see Dembele 'outpassing' the Croatian this season in both numbers and completion percentage.
Dembele is really blossoming at his new club, and Modric is still adapting; and while this comparison is not perfect, it displays that Daniel Levy did an excellent piece of business in selling the Croatian for £30 million and replacing him with a player at half the price and two years younger, the club didn't do badly in the summer, even if they did leave the deals until the last minute.
Who would you rather have at Spurs? Dembele or Modric?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald