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Tottenham Hotspur

Steven N’Zonzi the ideal solution for Tottenham if Mousa Dembele leaves

The French international wants a move back to the Premier League this summer

Liam Thomas

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Steven N'Zonzi
Photo: Getty images

Mousa Dembele looks set to leave Spurs this summer and will reportedly choose his next destination after the World Cup concludes for himself and his country Belgium.

With Dembele’s departure looking likely, now begin the trials and tribulations of who will replace him as the anchor of the Tottenham midfield.

This is where French international Steven N’Zonzi enters the frame; according to The Sun, the Sevilla midfielder has declared that he wants to leave the Spanish side this summer in the hunt for a move back to the Premier League.

N’Zonzi is currently playing for France in the World Cup in Russia, a mean feat considering the hotly tested positions in the squad and a testament to the 6ft 5 defensive midfielder’s talent.

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Tottenham would have to cash out £35 million if they were to land N’Zonzi’s signature and with a host of other clubs interested in the defensive midfielder, including bitter rivals Arsenal, Mauricio Pochettino would have to work his magic to get the 29-year-old on board.

N’zonzi’s style is similar to that of Dembele’s, and he would seemingly fill the big void the Belgian international will leave if he departs this summer.

The French international also has the winning mentality that has lacked in Spurs’ squads over the last few seasons when pushing for silverware; he won the Europa League with Sevilla in 2016.

Another factor to consider for Spurs when looking at N’Zonzi is that he already has experience playing in the Premier League, playing for both Stoke City and Blackburn before making a move to the Laliga.

The ideal solution to replace Moussa Dembele?

You only have to look as far back as Sevilla’s Champions League victory over Manchester United last season to see the talent the big Frenchman has at his disposal, and any player who can make Paul Pogba look that average is worth the £35 million Sevilla want and more.

Football writer published by Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sport and Bleacher Report. Trying to elevate small talk to medium talk.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Rumours linking Tottenham’s Kieran Trippier with Real Madrid way off the mark

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Photo: Getty Images.

Transfer season always brings about some bizarre speculation and rumours, yet perhaps the most ridiculous of all this summer involves Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier.

The England international was one of the Three Lions’ best performers in Russia at the World Cup and caught the eye, particularly with his impressive free-kick goal in the semi-final against Croatia.

Now The Sun report that he is subject to interest from Real Madrid who are pondering a £50 million move.

However, they could not be further than the truth. Julen Lopetegui’s squad was already strong at right-back having Spain international duo Dani Carvajal and Nacho, both of whom featured at the World Cup and they’ve since added £31 million signing Alvaro Odriozola from Real Sociedad.

(<> on February 28, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

That signing of Spain’s third choice full-back led to the decision to loan youngster Achraf Hakimi to Borussia Dortmund for two years as Lopetegui was unconvinced that he would get regular game time which he needs at this stage in his career.

With the club also desperately seeking to replace Cristiano Ronaldo with a marquee signing, which won’t come cheap, it seems ludicrous to suggest that they would contemplate spending £50 million on a fifth right-back.

The Sun justify their claims with a bizarre suggestion, purely based on the fact that Trippier shares an agent with the same company that include Jonathan Barnett, Gareth Bale’s agent. That being the man who has frequently spoken out to demand more game time for his client and hardly endeared himself to the powers that be at the Bernabeu.

“Trippier, though, is represented by the Stellar Group — the firm headed by Jonathan Barnett, which negotiated Gareth Bale’s then world-record £86m transfer to the Bernabeu from Tottenham back in 2013.”

The Sun’s explanation of the rumour.

On reflection, it is clear that there is no substance to such a suggestion and seems likely that Tottenham fans have very little to worry about.

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Crystal Palace

The media obsession with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha should be ignored

The winger is being heavily linked with a move away from Selhurst Park.

Max Cohen

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Wilfried Zaha
Photo: Getty Images

Ask any Crystal Palace fan their least favourite part of the summer, and one answer will stand out: the endless media obsession about the future of Wilfried Zaha.

After further reports in The Times, Mirror, and The Sun linking the Ivory Coast international with a move away from Selhurst Park, Palace supporters should tune out the noise and focus on the facts of the matter.

Zaha is currently under contract at Selhurst Park, having signed a five-year deal just over a year ago. Despite the rumoured interest from the likes of Everton, Tottenham Hotspur, and Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace hold all the cards in the situation.

And, to add to their strong position, manager Roy Hodgson has made it very clear he has no intention of selling the winger when speaking to football.london last week:

“What people seem to forget with Wilf is he has got a four-year contract. There is speculation every year around Messi and Ronaldo too. He is our player for the next four years and the club has got no interest or desire to sell him.”

(during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion at Selhurst Park on May 13, 2018 in London, England.

This strong statement from the Palace manager is the only thing that holds significance with regards to the Zaha saga. At the end of the day, there can be as much speculation and interest from clubs as possible, but if the club is not willing to sell then the player will stay put.

Additionally, the reports that Zaha is unsettled at Palace seem like nothing more than sensational claims. This is a player who expressed his love for the fans and the club as recently as April, talking to the Eagles’ official website after a win against Brighton.

“Crystal Palace is my home town and the support we have here is genuine support with families watching with their kids loving us as players so I don’t really see myself anywhere else.”

In all, one must focus on what is relevant in the Wilfried Zaha transfer saga: the actual words of the figures involved.

With Zaha expressing his happiness and Hodgson making it clear no sale is forthcoming, the media obsession over the winger’s Selhurst Park exit appears unfounded.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Three roles that Jack Grealish could play as he edges closer to Tottenham

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Photo: Getty Images.

As Sky Sports say that a deal is close between Tottenham and Aston Villa, Mauricio Pochettino will already be planning where young starlet Jack Grealish could fit into his squad.

It’s likely that Grealish will become the club’s first addition of the summer transfer window with fans growing impatient for signings and will be expecting an immediate impact from him.

The 22-year-old is expected to cost the London club between £30 million and £40 million, yet many remain unconvinced at just how much game time he may get at White Hart Lane.

“I do think he has the ability to progress and play at that level. Is he ready right now for the Spurs first team? I would suggest no. I don’t think so, I don’t see him being a regular in that side at this moment in time.”

Ally McCoist made his feelings clear.

However, Pochettino may have several thoughts in mind when looking to select where to play his newest squad member…

On the wing

Many automatically think of Grealish as a wide player bombing down the wing and looking to cut inside purely based on memories of his time in the Premier League before the Villans were relegated in 2016.

His pace could be a major threat and bares similarities with the roles of the likes of Erik Lamela and Heung-Min Son when fielded on the flanks, particularly with the former increasingly injury prone and the latter likely to be on international duty with South Korea early on in the season.

A good dribbler, Grealish may be forced to adapt to spend more time on the right, as opposed to his usual place on the left, given the preferences of his team-mates though.

As a central attacking midfielder

Over the past two seasons, Grealish has made the number ten role his own at Villa Park and has got results too. With more goals and assists than in any other position, it’s easy to see why.

With 10 goals and 15 assists in 82 appearances in such a role, Grealish relishes the freedom of the role and can often be caught wandering around exploiting gaps in between opposition midfields and defences.

Given that he will have Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen for competition, it may be harder to force himself into the team in such a role, but he could provide an exciting option for rotation and will certainly be given opportunities.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

An alternative to Harry Kane

Perhaps the least likely of the trio, primarily given that his finishing is not one of his strongest points, Grealish could provide an option as a centre forward at White Hart Lane.

Back-up for Kane has been hard to come by and Grealish’s pace and movement would provide a very different option to Fernando Llorente, which could appeal as a makeshift solution to the coach.

Pochettino is an expert when it comes to getting the most out of players and if he feels he could adapt the midfielder into a more advanced role, no-one else will have a better crack at it than he might.

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