Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has stressed the importance of keeping Mousa Dembele fully fit after his impressive performance in Saturday's North London derby win.

The Belgian midfielder was typically dominant in the centre of the pitch as Spurs overcame Arsenal at Wembley.

And Pochettino, ahead of his side's trip to Turin to play Juventus in the Champions League on Tuesday, has heaped further praise on Dembele.


"I think last season he played so well, and then at the end of the season he suffered a problem in his ankle, struggled during pre-season and now is again feeling good," he said - quoted by Football.London.

"I think the problem is about his fitness, no? Because, that is about his quality, there is no doubt that like I have told you many times, for me he is a genius, an unbelievable player.

"But we must be careful about his fitness, it is good and he can train and, he can make this type of performance because he is a great talented player."


Pochettino has previously been equally as effusive in his assessment of the 30-year-old. In September, he again labelled Dembele a "genius", and emphasised his essential qualities.

"He is a player who I have told you many times is, for me, one of the geniuses that I have met in football," said Pochettino.

"It is key to keep him fit and try to provide all the quality that he has to the team. He shares the decisions. That relationship is important in order to help him.

"Without Mousa Dembele, we do not exist. Tottenham does not exist."