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West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez would be a superb back-up for Harry Kane

The Englishman previously played some of his best football under Pochettino at Southampton.

Max Cohen

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Jay Rodriguez
Photo: Getty Images

Reports in the Independent this week linked Tottenham Hotspur with a massive £120 million summer spending spree.

The article listed five players that could possibly move to north London, and among the most intriguing links was West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez.

If the former Southampton striker reconnects with his former manager Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane, it would prove to be an inspired decision.

Rodriguez has quietly enjoyed a brilliant season at Premier League strugglers West Brom, developing a reputation for scoring goals against the league’s biggest clubs.

The 28-year-old striker most notably bagged the famous winner at Old Trafford last weekend, delivering an emphatic diving header to decide the title race in unlikely fashion.

Rodriguez has also bagged an FA Cup double at Anfield this term, along with goals versus Arsenal and Manchester City.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Rodriguez enjoyed the best years of his career at Southampton under Pochettino, in which he recorded an outstanding 15 goals in 33 Premier League matches in 2013/14.

However, tragically for the Englishman, he suffered a devastating knee injury in April that ruled him out of the World Cup.

Tottenham have long been searching for a viable back-up option for star striker Harry Kane, with Fernando Llorente struggling during his limited opportunities this season.

Multimillion pound signing Vincent Janssen has also spent a inconsistent season on loan at Fenerbahce, and seems unlikely to break through at Spurs next season.

All these uninspiring forward options provide a brilliant chance for Rodriguez to make an impact in north London.

With Kane suffering from a recurrent ankle ligament injury, Spurs will be increasingly likely to rely on substitute striking options in the coming seasons.

The signing of Jay Rodriguez would serve as the perfect solution to this problem, allowing the lethal striker to reunite with Pochettino and contribute to the cause at White Hart Lane.

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

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino must not rush Harry Kane back after World Cup heroics

The Three Lions star claimed the top scorer award in Russia.

Max Cohen

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Harry Kane
Photo: Getty Images

After winning the Golden Boot by scoring six goals at the World Cup, Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has spoken out about his summer plans ahead of the upcoming Premier League season.

Kane expressed his desire to be fit for the first match of the season on August 11, an unwise decision that Mauricio Pochettino must contradict to protect his player.

“I will hopefully be back for the first game and hopefully try and score in August this year. I want to be playing in four weeks’ time. We’ll have to talk to the gaffer at Spurs.”

These comments from the striker are undoubtedly admirable, as they reveal the tendencies of a player who loves playing football and loves playing for Spurs.

However, as ambitious as Kane’s comments are, the Englishman simply needs a rest.

After an exhausting and arduous domestic campaign where he made 48 appearances across all competitions and scored 41 goals, Kane was stretched to the limit.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Take into account the ankle ligament injury he suffered in March and England’s lengthy World Cup campaign, and it is clear Kane sorely needs the standard three-to-four week rest that players normally enjoy after an international tournament.

Chelsea’s Belgian duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois will be given three weeks off following their international exploits. Spurs should follow this example, as Belgium played the same number of matches as England, and Chelsea are logically granting their stars a well-earned break.

If Kane was to be fit by the season opener, he would be afforded just two weeks rest, a situation that Pochettino must not entertain.

Not only would this hurt Kane’s productivity, it would harm his performance for the entire season as he could be sluggish and not up to full fitness.

Tottenham have undergone this before, when the striker was rushed back to the first team fray after being injured this spring against Bournemouth.

As a result, Kane was poor in the FA Cup semifinal and cost Spurs a chance at a trophy; the club should learn from its mistakes and give Harry Kane a proper summer break this time around.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Benjamin Pavard’s arrival would be bad news for Eric Dier

Eric Dier and Benjamin Pavard both play in very similar positions and would battle it out at Tottenham.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur are in the race to sign Benjamin Pavard from Stuttgart this summer, according to reports. The Mirror suggest he is being targeted as the main man to replace Toby Alderweireld, with the Belgian increasingly likely to leave the club this summer.

The Frenchman has been brilliant for his nation this summer. Playing at right-back he has helped France win the World Cup in Russia. But his natural position is at centre-back and is, therefore, being considered the man to slot into Alderweireld’s place.

But whilst he may be arriving to replace the Belgian, it is one of England’s World Cup players who should be most concerned.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Eric Dier would find himself in serious trouble if Pavard arrived.

Why?

Both Pavard and Dier are extremely versatile. Whilst Dier is currently billed as a holding midfielder, his best position is probably centre-back. When he first arrived at Spurs, he also played a number of games as a right-back.

Pavard can play all the same positions. If needed he has slotted into central midfield before and he can play anywhere along the back-line, including at left-back.

The trouble for Dier is his current form. Things have gone slightly stale from the 24-year-old recently. His form at Tottenham was so-so last term and many England fans were not impressed by his displays at the World Cup – despite a good showing in the 3rd-4th play-off.

He is, of course, a very good footballer but his main asset for Tottenham now is his versatility. If Pavard was to arrive, Tottenham would have a brand new utility player in the pack.

Whilst it would not spell the end for Dier at Tottenham the arrival of Pavard would surely make his life more difficult.

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Alireza Jahanbakhsh perfect alternative to Malcom if Tottenham miss out

The Iran international scored 22 league goals last season.

Liam Thomas

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Alireza Jahanbakhsh
Photo: Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur are edging closer to signing Brazilian starlet Malcom from Bordeaux with the 21-year-old keen to make the switch from Ligue 1 to the Premier League, according to The Sun.

However, despite the apparent interest from Spurs, no formal bid has been made by the North London side and, considering the rife competition for the youngster’s signature from around Europe, other alternatives should be considered.

This is where Iranian World Cup star Alireza Jahanbakhsh comes into the mix. The talented 24-year-old forward could be the perfect alternative to Malcom if Spurs miss out on signing the Brazilian starlet.

You only have to look as far back as last season to see the quality Jahanbakhsh possesses. Plying his trade in the Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar the forward managed to notch up an impressive 22 goals and 14 assists in 39 appearances for the Dutch side.

(Photo by Saeed Khan/Getty Images)

This killer instinct in front of goal is something Spurs have been craving to lift some of the pressure off of talisman Harry Kane’s shoulders in recent seasons.

Furthermore the Iranian international has to ability to play anywhere along the front three and is equally capable of playing with both feet, two traits which led to Spurs’ interest in Malcom in the first place.

However, despite the forwards fantastic record and undeniable talent, there will always be an element of risk when requiring a player from the Dutch top flight, with many players in the past failing to step up and settle into life in the Premier League.

Nevertheless, Jahanbakhsh’ World Cup performances for Iran proved he is more than capable of stepping up to play on the big stage. This is something Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino should consider if they miss out on signing Malcom.

It remains to be seen whether or not Tottenham will land the signature of Bordeaux’s Malcom. However, if they don’t, Jahanbakhsh could prove to be a savvy bit of business and a cheaper alternative.

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