Mousa Dembele
Dembele to be handed more attacking role. Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Tim Sherwood is planning to hand Mousa Dembele a more advanced role in his starting XI in the coming weeks.

The Belgian international arrived in the Premier League as a second striker for Fulham until he was moved into a central midfield berth by Martin Jol.

After excelling in that position at Craven Cottage the 26-year-old moved to Spurs in the summer of 2012 where his reputation as a driving force from the centre of the pitch has grown exponentially.

Since replacing Andre Villas-Boas as head coach at White Hart Lane Sherwood has attempted to make his own mark on the current squad, notably by switching to a 4-4-2 formation and recalling Emmanuel Adebayor to the first team.

And in his latest alteration, the former Spurs midfielder intents to hand one of his key central midfielders a more attacking role with the hope of wreaking havoc in the opposition's penalty area.

"Mousa is an absolute nightmare to play against because he can drop his shoulder and leave you on your backside," Sherwood told the club's official website.

"Opponents can't get the better of him physically either. He's such a strong man, he gets away from players, he's a top talent.

"We've been trying to get him further forward to play in and around the penalty area because he has the capability of creating and perhaps scoring more goals. We're getting him into the areas to achieve that.

"He's very well respected within the group. The lads know the quality he possess and treat him with the respect he deserves."

Despite the summer arrivals of Etienne Capoue and Paulinho, Dembele has been ever-present in the Tottenham starting line-up this season, appearing in 20 of the club's 22 Premier League games, but has found the back of net just once, something Sherwood may be eager to address.