Tottenham Hotspur’s excellent run of form in the Premier League came to an end yesterday evening, whilst Manchester City moved a step closer to their now inevitable title coronation. City won 3-1 at Wembley – outplaying Spurs for the second time this season.
There was plenty to be concerned about from a Tottenham perspective. The overall gulf in class between the two sides was immediately evident. The performance of Hugo Lloris, the once dependable captain of the Tottenham ship, was again questionable.
But the biggest worry was the display of Colombian defender Davinson Sanchez. The summer signing from Ajax has been a revelation this season. Signed for a fee reported by the BBC to be in the region of £42 million he has established himself as a key member of the Spurs team. So much so, that City’s leading light Kevin De Bruyne even confirmed last week that Sanchez was his vote for PFA Young Player of the Year.
Against City, however, he was poor. Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling targeted his naivety from the get-go and exposed his frailties in brutal fashion.
Sanchez, for all the qualities he does have, struggles with concentration and keeping a line. He consistently played Jesus and Sterling onside throughout the game, often finding himself fortunate for some wasteful finishing.
It is not the first time this issue has cost Tottenham at Wembley. Sanchez struggled with a similar style being played by Juventus. The Italian side dumped Spurs out of the Champions League as a consequence.
The impact of Toby Alderweireld’s absence has rarely been laid out so bare. The Belgian looks set to be on his way this summer after a contract fall-out with the club. As a result, he is currently not being considered for selection by Mauricio Pochettino.
But this game and the one v Juventus shows that Sanchez is not quite up to standard yet when it comes to the massive games. Alderweireld is the sort of player Spurs need in such big games.
It shows that this summer Tottenham must bring in a more experienced replacement if they are to maintain serious silverware ambitions. It’s that, or Daniel Levy might have to edge closer to Alderweireld’s wage demands, reported by the Daily Mail to be near £10m-a-season.
That is not going to happen. So a quality replacement must be targeted because right now, Sanchez is not up to the standard necessary when it comes to the biggest games.
Everton round-up: Lookman battle, Veloso wanted and Richarlison disappointment
A selection of the latest news and gossip from Everton.
Everton are still fighting to keep hold of Ademola Lookman this month. Ot has been reported that a new big money bid has been made for the England youngster from German side RB Leipzig.
The Toffees talent thrived on loan in the Bundesliga last season and is therefore on the radar again.
However, according to The Times, Everton remain determined to keep him.
Marco Silva sees him as a hot prospect and is also aware that Yannick Bolasie is likely to leave before the end of the month.
Everton are reportedly looking at the potential signature of Miguel Veloso. The Portugal international is a free agent having left Genoa this summer.
According to TEAMtalk, the Toffees are said to be interested in signing him, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The 56-cap midfielder would add excellent strength in depth to the midfield at Goodison Park.
Richarlison has admitted he is disappointed not to have received a call-up to the latest Brazil squad.
The Everton newbie has enjoyed a fantastic start to life at Goodison Park and was being tipped to receive a call-up.
However, the 23-year-old has been left out of Tite’s squad for upcoming games with the USA and El Salvador.
Richarlison admitted to UOL Esporte that he was looking forward to a call-up and was disappointed it never came.
Is Erik Lamela about to have his best season yet as a Tottenham player?
The Argentine made a real impact against Fulham.
Erik Lamela impressed as Tottenham recorded a 2-1 victory over London rivals Fulham on Saturday.
The Argentine international hasn’t quite lived up to the reputation that accompanied his £25.7 million price when he moved from Roma in August 2013.
While he has threatened to show his true potential at times, he has never been able to achieve the level of consistency that warrants a regular starting spot for Spurs.
Nonetheless, fans were treated to the Argentine at his very best when he broke from his own half, dribbling past the entire Fulham midfield, before laying off the ball to Harry Kane for his goal at the weekend.
He complemented this moment with a confident cameo display from the bench, in which he threatened the opponents’ goal on two occasions, while fulfilling his role defensively, breaking up several Fulham counter-attacks.
Despite not getting as many minutes as he would have liked, Lamela was hugely influential in turning the course of the tie for the Lilywhites, and this could see him rewarded with his first start of the campaign in the not too distant future.
Having a fit and firing Erik Lamela gives Pochettino another excellent option for rotation in attack. After his cameo at Wembley, there is a feeling that the 26-year-old is well prepared for his best season as a Tottenham player.
Kevin Wimmer scores on Hannover debut as he puts Stoke nightmare behind him
The Austrian defender had an awful time at Stoke City last season.
When Stoke City signed Kevin Wimmer last summer it looked like something of a coup from the Potters. The Austrian had impressed at Tottenham during his time at White Hart Lane. Unfortunately, game time became hard to come by due to the excellence of Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen at the back for Spurs.
Wimmer was therefore sold to Stoke last summer for a fee in the region of £18 million. Mark Hughes was ecstatic with the signing but his form did not justify his exaggerated price-tag.
Wimmer struggled under Hughes and things got even worse when the Welshman left. Replaced by Paul Lambert, the new manager swiftly moved wimmer into the reserves. Told to lose weight he played no part in Stoke’s failed attempt to survive relegation from the Premier League.
This summer, with Stoke relegated, Wimmer was moved on. He joined Hannover in a season-long loan deal back in May.
At the weekend he began his first steps in forgetting his Stoke City nightmare. The Austrian played his first game for his new club in the DFB Pokal against Karlsruher. Not only did he play, but he also managed to score. It was his first goal since scoring v Liverpool in the League Cup back in 2016 whilst at Spurs.
He scored the opening goal of a convincing 6-0 win, powering home a close-range header.
Wimmer will long be remembered as one of Stoke’s biggest ever flops. But it seems he is certainly enjoying himself back in Germany.
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