Speak to any of his peers at Spurs, and they will tell you about a midfielder they consider as one of the world’s best.
If you need their opinions franked, how about a certain Mauricio Pochettino? “You all know my feelings – he’s a genius,” said the manager after Mousa’s performance and goal against Bournemouth at the Lane last season. “Mousa is capable of everything. He’s one of the most talented players in the world.”
“That’s a big compliment,” said Mousa when it was put to him that despite all of these comments, he remains completely grounded. “People around me are very important. In this Club, players, the people who work here, it’s an important factor as well to have that healthy environment. I’m happy here in that environment. That’s good for me.”
Mousa is approaching two big milestones, on and off the pitch. On it, he’s on 197 appearances for Spurs and no doubt soon to become the latest member of the current squad’s 200-club, having signed for us back in 2012. Yes, five years ago! Off it, he’s about to turn 30, this Sunday (16 July).
“It’s my birthday soon, I’m 30 and I feel good,” said Mousa, who has worked throughout the summer after undergoing surgery on his foot at the end of last season. “Last season I felt good and it was a great season. Now I want to improve my performances - we all do - and hopefully the team will improve as well.”
Mousa has been outstanding in the last two seasons, initially hooking up with Eric Dier in the holding role in the second half of 2015-16 before forming a formidable partnership with Victor Wanyama as we tore up Club records in the Premier League last term, Eric stepping into a central three in a 3-4-2-1 system.
Below: Checking stats with Toby Alderweireld and Anton McElhone, Strength & Conditioning Coach
One of the keys to this squad’s success though is continually striving to improve, epitomised by Mousa’s attitude as we build up to 2017-18.
“It’s a new season and you want to challenge yourself so for me, the last two seasons have been good, but I want to want to improve in certain areas, maybe scoring more goals,” said the Belgian international.
“To do that you have to believe in yourself and work hard. That’s not difficult in this team because you only have players who want to work hard. It’s just a matter of following what everyone does and hopefully I’ll get there.
“What’s really important though isn’t me,” he concluded. “All that really matters is that the team wins.”