Gullit believes Dembele is successful for the way he mapped out his career.
He told Sky Sports: "If I get a contract as a 16-year-old for a club like West Ham, I would have more possibilities of getting into the first team than at the biggest clubs in the league.
"Therefore, you have to consider your options.
"For instance, who I really like is Dembele of Tottenham. He chose wisely. He could have gone to Ajax but he didn't. Instead, he went to Willem II, where he developed.
"Then again, he didn't go to Ajax but went to AZ Alkmaar, where he developed himself. Once more, he didn't go to Manchester United or any clubs like that, he went to Tottenham - and look how good he is now.
"He had a clear game plan for himself, which was very wise. He did exactly the right things for his career, which he might not have had the chance if he went straight to a big club."