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Dembele's hapless honesty has cost his integrity

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We all know that every footballer roaming the heights of Premier League football thinks it, but we never expect them to actually open up their generally over-used jaws and spit it out to an awaiting bundle of journalists, drooling over ever word of criticism and lapping up each inconsistency in a player's speech. It didn't stop Moussa Dembele from labelling Tottenham Hotspur a "step up" though, did it?

When the question was directed towards him about the possibility of White Hart Lane being his newly inherited theatre, our Belgian striker of such critical acclaim decided to buck the trend of sporting morality and suggested that Spurs are an "attractive club". He didn't stop there, though.

"I could possibly leave Fulham during the summer. I have heard Spurs are interested in me and it would be a step up if I joined them - and that has always been my ambition.

"I played a lot of games for Fulham last season when I was not injured and I have now got a regular first-team place once again. So I don`t see why I should not take a step up to a higher level."

Charming. In one foul swoop not only has he undermined the quality of the club for whom he plies his trade, but he has frustrated the fans and placed himself in an already busy shop window.

Of course, players have a right to move on and a right to play at the highest level - though that arguably isn't Tottenham; nevertheless that is another debate entirely - but clubs and fans, at a minimum, have a right to be respected. But  that still doesn't delve near deeply enough to the root of the problem at hand in that Dembele doesn't even see the lack of class in what he's doing.

"I'm just speaking my mind" would be a probable response were questions fronted to him about his latest quotes, but, as I'm sure we're all aware, there are times in which to be honest and open and times in which to keep quiet and keep your thoughts to your highly-prestigious self. Of course, this event calls for the latter.

The official Fulham site moved quickly to tip-ex over the misdemeanour-cum-swindle but as always with post-trauma cover ups, it went nowhere near shrinking our newly found fears.

It's just a reflection of modern football though, unfortunately. When we are paraded with authentic stories of Wayne Rooney hustling Manchester United out of an extra bundle of cash every week in a scam so masterfully blueprinted you'd think it worthy of a feature length movie, there is no surprise that every Tom, Dick and Harry deems themselves so bountiful in talent that they are worthy of life's greater trimmings.

Dembele is but another ready member for the unscrupulous bandwagon of arrogance and greed, where he's more-than-likely sitting alongside Luka Modric, Samir Nasri and Carlos Tevez to name but a few. 

It's clear, then, that our striker of such credentials will depart and it has become far more a case of when and how much as opposed to if. Doubtless, we'll hear the complaints of how Fulham are too much of a selling club and how progress will never be made in such circumstances, but I can't think of many Lilywhites who could argue the point that a man who self-righteously claims that a team we defeated by a mere four goals to nil last season is of far superior quality to the one at which he plays now is a man we would want as a representative of Fulham FC.

For all his dizzying ability and all his simply stupefying trickery, and while he holds the power to turn a game on its head in one moment of sincere brilliance, he is a man we could, personality wise, do without. 

£12 million, cash in hand, and the dressing room is a better place.

Either that or take a leaf out of Brede Hangeland's book and provide Fulham the respect it deserves, because talent isn't a right to bigger and better things - it is a mere footnote.