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‘Solid Performance’ – Davinson Sanchez gives Tottenham reason not to fear Toby Alderweireld exit

The 21-year-old put in a fine defensive display against London rivals Chelsea.

Jake Jackman

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Sanchez
Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham managed to win at Stamford Bridge for the first time in the Premier League era as they came from a goal down to win 3-1 against Chelsea. It was a hugely important victory as it has seen them move eight points above their top-six rivals and another year of Champions League football now looks increasingly likely. To continue their progression under Mauricio Pochettino, it is important to be fixtures in Europe’s premier competition and they look set to qualify for the third successive season.

Dele Alli was the undoubted star of the match as he scored a brace to give his team the three points in the second half. However, Tottenham were very good in every department and looked a solid unit throughout the ninety minutes. The centre-back pairing of Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen continues to improve with both delivering good displays against Chelsea.

They made a combined 12 ball recoveries and 16 clearances to keep Chelsea to only one goal. Their positioning was spot on throughout and it was clear that they have managed to develop a good understanding throughout this season. There have been times when Sanchez has looked inexperienced, but he has learned from his mistakes and has the makings of an elite centre-back. It will be invaluable for him to learn from Vertonghen who has been one of the most consistent defenders in the Premier League since arriving on these shores.

In addition to being dependable at the back, both defenders managed to contribute in possession and are the perfect players for Pochettino’s system. The Argentine coach wants to have 11 players that are comfortable with the ball at their feet, so the team can build from deep and use the defenders to launch attacks. Vertonghen (88%) and Sanchez (90%) both ended the match with high pass completion rates.

One question that has been hanging over Tottenham this season has been regarding the future of Toby Alderweireld. There have been rumours about his long-term future, with the most recent report coming from the Mirror over the weekend. They reported that Chelsea were keen to win the race to sign the Belgian, but they will face competition from Barcelona and Manchester United, who will be expected to fork out around £55 million.

This isn’t the first report linking him with a move away from Tottenham and it won’t be the last. It is clear that something isn’t right behind the scenes and Alderweireld’s lack of game time is evidence of that. The defender hasn’t featured in the Premier League since October. The major reason for this has been injury related, but Pochettino doesn’t seem in a rush to get him the Belgian international back into the starting eleven.

The victory over Chelsea was significant for Alderweireld, as it showed that the team could win big matches without him. Furthermore, it was interesting to note that Harry Kane was brought back from injury quickly and featured at Stamford Bridge ahead of schedule.

Pochettino has regularly spoken about not rushing Alderweireld back from injury, but he seems more willing to bring Kane back as quickly as possible. Admittedly, the striker’s injury wasn’t as serious, but it is interesting to note nonetheless.

It would have been a controversial opinion to suggest Tottenham could cope without Alderweireld a year ago, but his potential exit is now looking less ominous for the club. The win over Chelsea showed that he isn’t as integral as many thought he was before his injury.

His omission from the starting eleven was supported by many Tottenham supporters:

Although there were some that disagreed with his treatment:

The performance of the team showed that Alderweireld isn’t as important as many thought:

Davinson Sanchez received a lot of praise for his performance:

Jake is a journalist based in the South East. He is a Newcastle United fan and has a keen interest in Dutch football. Jake can be found on Twitter here - @jakejackmann.

Tottenham Hotspur

Abdoulaye Doucoure could be the ideal successor for Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele

The France Under-21 international has enjoyed a fine season.

Josh Kerr

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Abdoulaye Doucoure
Photo: Getty Images

Watford‘s Abdoulaye Doucoure has enjoyed an impressive season at Vicarage Road and the versatile midfielder could prove to be an ideal signing for Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

According to the Mirror, Mauricio Pochettino is ready to listen to offers for the likes of Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.

Dembele was one of the names shortlisted and has been a revelation in his six years at the club.

Many Spurs players, including Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier stated in Soccer AM interviews that they believe the 30-year-old midfielder to be the best player at the club.

However, Dembele is one of the stars linked with a departure from the Lilywhites so a replacement for the Belgian will be a vital priority for Pochettino this summer. Doucoure could be the perfect man for the job.

The 25-year-old has been the Hornets’ stand-out player this season and has consistently demonstrated that he is capable of playing at the highest level.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Usually a holding midfielder, he is best known for his intricate array of passing in the middle of the park and his ability to break up play.

These traits match the qualities Dembele possesses and, therefore, he would prove a smart signing for Spurs.

The Frenchman also boasts an impressive tally in front of goal with seven goals and four assists in the league this season.

According to The Sun, Doucoure has been a previous target for Spurs, and the potential departure of Dembele gives Pochettino a greater incentive to find a replacement for the Belgium midfielder.

The France Under-21 international has two years remaining on his contract at Vicarage Road and is valued at £40 million.

The midfielder has been a goalscoring threat in a Watford side that has struggled to find consistency all season.

A move to one of the top-six would allow Doucoure to take his qualities to the next level and should definitely be a name the Lilywhites are monitoring over the summer period.

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After injury-stricken season, new Tottenham contract offers hope for Harry Winks

The 22-year-old put pen to paper on a new deal at White Hart Lane.

Max Cohen

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Harry Winks
Photo: Getty Images

This week began with deflating news for Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks.

On Wednesday, England’s World Cup squad was announced, with Winks missing out due to injury – a saddening sight as many believed he would have been a key player if fully fit.

But, just a day later, the 22-year-old was handed a massive boost when he signed a new five-year contract for Spurs.

The deal offers much-needed hope to a player who has endured a horrid 12 months, revealing that Mauricio Pochettino firmly believes in the central midfielder despite his recent injury woes.

Winks’ heartbreak began on 1 April 2017, when the youngster was stretchered off before half-time in Tottenham’s clash away at Burnley.

The right ankle injury ruled out Winks for the closing stages of the 2016/17 campaign, and the Englishman hoped to return rejuvenated for the following season.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Initially, it seemed as the creative midfielder had overcome the ankle pain, as Winks starred in a  number of Spurs’ high-profile matches in the fall.

Impressing in Tottenham’s famous Champions League wins over Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, he was rewarded with an England call-up in October.

Yet, in a league match against Palace the following month, he was forced off at half-time due to a recurrence of the ankle injury.

After that point, Winks’ season was never the same. Limited to just a handful of FA Cup appearances in 2018, Winks last played in the Premier League on Boxing Day.

The midfielder is now set to undergo ankle surgery this week, hoping that next season he can finally start anew and recapture his top form.

Now that Winks has a stable long-term future at the club, his rehabilitation process will be filled with far less stress and apprehension.

Mauricio Pochettino views the 22-year-old as integral to his future plans at White Hart Lane, and the boost of an extended contract is brilliant news for the England international’s fledgling career.

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How Twitter reacted to Tottenham being linked with the next Andres Iniesta

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Photo: Getty Images.

Few Tottenham fans may have been aware of Barcelona starlet Riqui Puig a little over 24 hours ago, but now he is the name on many Spurs fans’ lips.

Spanish newspaper SPORT say that the London club are in pole position to seal a deal for the teenager when his contract expires this summer, with Mauricio Pochettino among his chief admirers at the club.

An attacking minded playmaker in central midfield, Puig has been compared to Andres Iniesta and Philippe Coutinho for his ability to transition play from defence to attack.

(Photo by Monika Majer/Getty Images)

As soon as news of Tottenham’s reported interest broke, fans took to Twitter to express their lack of knowledge of his skills or, alternatively, show off what they did know.

Perhaps unsurprisingly as one of La Masia’s top talents, Barcelona fans also reacted to the news with outrage and fury at what they perceived to be mismanagement of one of the brightest talents to come through the ranks at Camp Nou in a decade.

He may be young and lack the huge transfer fee of other players being linked with the Lilywhites this summer, but Puig has certainly got Tottenham fans excited.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the news:

The highlights reel was already making an appearance…

Yet some had other concerns…

And some confessed that they didn’t have a clue…

Whilst others pretended they did…

And experts had their say…

And Barcelona fans certainly weren’t happy…

 

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