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Tottenham Hotspur

After sensational international performance, Tottenham Hotspur must swoop for Matthijs De Ligt

The Dutch teenager shackled Cristiano Ronaldo and bagged two assists.

Mathew Coull

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The Netherlands put their 1-0 loss against England behind them last night in emphatic fashion. The Dutch won their first game under the management of Ronald Koeman by outplaying European Champions Portugal in Lisbon. Goals from Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Virgil van Dijk saw Holland to a 3-0 win.

But it was a central defender who picked up the man-of-the-match award for Holland, and the player in question needs to be on Tottenham Hotspur’s radar.

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – MAY 24: Matthijs de Ligt of Ajax and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United in action during the UEFA Europa League Final between Ajax and Manchester United at Friends Arena on May 24, 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Matthijs de Ligt was sensational in the fixture. Not only did he keep Cristiano Ronaldo on a short leash in the Dutch defensive trio but he also bagged two assists. De Lift fired in a cross for Babel’s header and nodded down a poised header at the back-post for Van Dijk to score. Considering that the Ajax centre-back is just 18, it was quite the performance.

Tottenham Hotspur should undoubtedly be interested in the teenager.

This summer the club look increasingly likely to be saying goodbye to Toby Alderweireld. No new contract has yet been agreed with the player. The likelihood of that happening appears to be growing rapidly slim.

Like De Ligt, Alderweireld and current Tottenham centre-back stalwart Jan Vertonghen are products of the Ajax academy. Last summer Tottenham raided Ajax for their other defensive option, Colombian talent Davinson Sanchez. Ajax will be sick of the sight of Tottenham, but De Ligt has to be a target for the club.

during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on April 10, 2016 in London, England.

At just 18 he has already demonstrated he can play among and against the best. With years of progression ahead of him and a coach like Mauricio Pochettino the teenager could become one of the best centre-backs in the world.

There is no doubt Ajax would not let him go cheaply. Tottenham had to break their transfer record to sign his former team-mate Sanchez last summer. But given his age and immense talent De Ligt would be an investment for the future from Spurs.

Alderweireld’s departure will be a sore one to take for Spurs. But if they can replace him with a man who is showing more talent at 18 than he or Vertonghen ever did, Tottenham will be on to a winner.

England

Gareth Southgate’s Harry Kane decision was the first of a hopeful campaign for England

Max Cohen

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Harry Kane
Photo: Getty Images

England National Team manager Gareth Southgate announced Harry Kane would be the country’s next captain on Tuesday, much to the delight of the 24-year-old striker.

Kane expressed his appreciation on Twitter, posting a picture of himself shaking hands with Southgate and describing it as “a very proud day.”

The Tottenham Hotspur star is a fantastic choice to captain England in this summer’s World Cup, as the country’s best player is known to lead effectively and serve as an immaculate example for his teammates.

Although Kane does not wear the captain’s armband at club level (that honour goes to goalkeeper Hugo Lloris), the Englishman nevertheless has all the characteristics of an impressive skipper.

Some may argue that the captaincy should go to defenders or central midfielders rather than attackers, yet if a player has the passion required, their position is irrelevant.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Kane is a player who undoubtedly loves playing for the Three Lions and has an excellent record of 12 goals in his 23 caps.

He might not be the most vocal and animated of leaders on the pitch, but his work ethic, desire, and knack for scoring crucial goals are all attributes his fellow Englishman can look up to.

The Tottenham forward is certain to be one of the first names on the teamsheet in Russia, and this consistency is crucial for Kane’s captaincy.

Southgate recognised these ever-present qualities as vital parts of Kane’s character, commending the striker’s diligence and determination.

“Harry has some outstanding personal qualities,” Southgate told the Evening Standard. “He is a meticulous professional and one of the most important things for a captain is that they set the standard every day.”

The Tottenham Hotspur striker will surely reward his manager’s faith by serving England proud as captain this summer, and Kane will be remembered as a legend if his goals can fire the Three Lions deep into the tournament.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Ivan Perisic deal would be a massive change for Tottenham and Daniel Levy

The Inter Milan winger is reportedly wanted by Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Coull

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Reports in Italy this week have linked Tottenham Hotspur with a move for Croatian winger Ivan Perisic. FC Inter News recently reported that Spurs were in contact with the Inter Milan star’s agent regarding a potential switch to North London.

Perisic has had a fine season at Inter. The wide-man scored 11 goals and assisted the same amount in 39 games for the club as they narrowly beat Lazio to Champions League qualification.

So Tottenham fans are justified if they are excited by the prospect of signing the Croatian this summer.

However, it does seem an unlikely deal. It simply goes against the entire ethos of Tottenham Hotspur.

Last summer Manchester United did all they can to get Perisic. Jose Mourinho earmarked him as a perfect new recruit, but could not secure a transfer. In August they put a halt on their pursuit of the player, with their biggest offer reported to be in the region of £44 million by the Metro.

(Photo credit should read MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

This summer should be no different. Inter were believed to be after £49 million for the player, according to The Telegraph. One year on and Perisic has had a brilliant season and the Nerazzurri no longer need the funds after making the Champions League.

Spurs would surely have to smash their transfer record in order to bring the player in.

If he was 25-years-old, then paying such a large fee would not be considered much of a problem. But Perisic is 29-years-old and would turn 30 midway through next season. Looking at the current in-limbo status of Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele at the same sort of age and it is clear Daniel Levy is not keen on big bucks going toward ageing players.

Perisic would be a fine addition for Spurs, but there is surely no way such a deal will get the go-ahead from the powers at be.

Tottenham fans might love to have Perisic, but it just does not seem like a deal that can genuinely happen.

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Celtic

Celtic’s Kieran Tierney could replace Danny Rose at Tottenham, despite large fees

Celtic have slapped a £30 million price tag on the 20-year-old.

Josh Kerr

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Tierney
Photo: Getty Images

Kieran Tierney is another emerging star from the Scottish Premier League and his current club Celtic are already preparing for the top English clubs to come swooping this summer.

According to Daily Mail, Brendan Rodgers’ side have committed to a £30 million asking price to deflect the advances of the likes of Tottenham, who are said to be considering a move for the 20-year-old.

Despite the large fee, Spurs should not be put off making an approach. The young Scotsman would be the ideal long-term replacement for Danny Rose whose departure from North London looks inevitable this summer.

The Lilywhites have reportedly been watching Tierney throughout the season, with his performances for the Hoops impressing.

His displays in the Champions League, despite encountering a challenging group, including Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain, will have impressed Mauricio Pochettino and it this level of talent that could see Spurs swoop for the left-back.

The departure of Danny Rose appears imminent, with the Englishman likely to leave after an 11-year spell with the Lilywhites and his exit will leave Spurs need to ensure they are able to sign a top quality replacement and the Celtic academy prospect could just do that.

At just 20, he is already thriving in his home country winning title after title, and already looks ready for a big-money move to fulfil his outstanding potential. In a Spurs side that relies on the attacking quality of its full-backs, Tierney would fit right in.

However, the player is under contract until 2023 after signing a new six-year deal last season, meaning the Scottish champions are in no rush to sell.

Having said this, an offer from the Premier League and a side capable of reaching the latter stages in Europe would prove difficult to turn down. If Spurs are able to meet Celtic’s asking price, it will be interesting to see if the Hoops would be willing to turn down such a significant fee.

The sale of Rose will most likely be enough to fund Tierney’s move and many Spurs fans will be eager to see their side launch a raid for Celtic’s most promising young talent.

Spurs will not want to break the bank for a Rose replacement. However, if the Lilywhites are to continue progressing under Pochettino then they need to ensure the board match the ambition of the fans by ensuring maximum strength in every position of the pitch.

Tierney has already established himself as one of Britain’s top full-backs and a move to the Premier League could take the Scotland international to the next level in his development.

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