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Tottenham should fear Toby Alderweireld’s potential exit

Losing the Belgian international would be a huge blow for the Lilywhites.

Max Cohen

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Photo: Getty Images

Reports from Belgian outlet Het Laatse Nieuws have linked Tottenham centre-half Toby Alderweireld with a £43 million exit from Spurs this summer after the north London club reportedly gave up on contract negotiations.

The loss of the Belgian international would be a severe blow to the Tottenham defense, as well as to the image of the club.

If Spurs want to take the next step and seriously challenge for the Premier League title and advance to the latter stages of the Champions League, they must keep hold of their biggest talents.

Alderweireld has been imperious for the north London side ever since he joined from Atlético Madrid in the summer of 2015. After impressing on loan with Southampton in the 2014/15 season, the centre-half excelled at White Hart Lane.

(Photo by Adrian Dennis/Getty Images)

An integral part of the impressive Spurs teams of 2015/16 and 2016/17, Alderweireld was an ever-present in the backline. He played every single match in 2015/16 and 30 matches the following season.

And not coincidentally, these years coincided with tremendous defensive fortitude for Tottenham. In both seasons, Spurs boasted the best defensive record in the league, conceding just 35 and 26 goals respectively- a truly remarkable feat.

Yet this season, the Belgian’s involvement has been severely hindered due to a hamstring injury. Consequently, Spurs remain well off the pace for the title race and have already conceded 25 goals, almost surpassing the previous season’s total with eight matches to spare.

If the rumours of his impending departure are correct, Tottenham will suffer a major blow to their back four. Physically imposing and tactically adept, Alderweireld has been a colossus in the centre of defense for Spurs for three years now.

Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth are simply not capable replacements for the Belgian international, and a loss of Alderweireld would spell trouble for Tottenham’s title chances and European ambition in 2018/19.

Max is an 18-year-old football journalist studying at the University of Pennsylvania. Max specialises in English football, is an avid follower of Fulham, and co-hosts a weekly Fulham podcast. He is also a politics reporter and deputy news editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian.

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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Tottenham Hotspur

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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Tottenham Hotspur

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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