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Tottenham Hotspur

Three Tottenham players ready to make an impact at Russia 2018

Ruari Macneil

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Over the last few seasons under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur have been carefully constructing a team to rival even the best in Europe. Boasting a star studded line-up, it is natural that they will have a strong representation at the World Cup this summer with a large portion of their squad playing for their respective national teams.

With the end of the season nearly here and the World Cup just around the corner, we are going to take a look at three Spurs stars who are ready to grab the headlines and steal the show for their countries.

Christian Eriksen

Tottenham

Without Christian Eriksen, Denmark’s status as a World Cup qualified country would be in major jeopardy, with the Danish star having inspired his country through the qualifying rounds to reach the World Cup finals for the fifth time in their history. With 77 caps, Eriksen is highly experienced for a 26-year-old, and his brilliant season with Tottenham has arguably been his best, meaning he will be heading to Russia in the form of his life.

Eriksen’s goals for club and country have been simply massive and the Danish star has proved himself to be a match-winner on a consistent basis. Drawn in a pool with France, Peru and Australia, he will be facing up against club captain Hugo Lloris in a match that could well determine the group winner.

Son Heung-Min

Son Heung-Min is another Spurs star who has enjoyed the season of his career and the form of his life this term, and will definitely have a huge part to play if South Korea are to have a successful tournament this summer. The forward has grown into his role at Tottenham over the last couple of years and is now a vital component of the attack, whether that be starting in a wide position or coming in to deputise for Kane in a central role when the England star is out.

With nearly 20 goals so far this season, Son will be hoping to take his scoring boots to Russia to carry on his terrific record for his country. The former Bayer Leverkusen star currently has 20 goals in his 63 caps and, with a number of fellow European based Korea stars, the nation will be going into the tournament as hopeful as they have ever been.

Mousa Dembele

Belgian stalwart Mousa Dembele has been talismanic for Spurs this season and always plays an instrumental role in his team’s success. The midfield man has gone from strength to strength in recent seasons and his box-to-box ability is rivalled by few players on the planet.

With a heavily star studded line-up, the Belgian national team will go to Russia as one of the tournament favourites, and the potential for a midfield of Dembele, Kevin De Bruyne and Axel Witsel is a frightening prospect for any national team to face.

Belgium definitely have the talent, and also boast experience in players like Dembele who has some 70 caps, and it will be down to players such as the Spurs ace to help lead the team through the group and as deep into the tournament as possible.

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham have already identified Eric Dier’s £25 million replacement in Wilmar Barrios

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Photo: Getty Images.

Losing first team regulars may not be a complete surprise to Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino, and that may why be reports are indicating that the coach has already lined up an alternative to Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama should either move on this summer.

The Sun say that there is still interest in Dier, who will be at the World Cup with England, whilst Wanyama’s struggles with injury may mean that Pochettino looks elsewhere for the role of midfield enforcer.

They believe the target to be Boca Juniors’ 24-year-old holding midfielder Wilmar Barrios, a Colombian international who plays alongside Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez at international level.

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The youngster has become a key man in the Boca Juniors side but, perhaps unusually, has not caught the attention of many in Europe. Barrios has, though, developed a reputation as one of the best players in South America, particularly in his position, as he has become a linchpin protecting his back four.

That is protected in his very impressive stats, which show that he makes on average three tackles per game and 2.8 interceptions per match, compared to the 1.8 tackles and 1.3 interceptions for Dier playing in a very similar role.

Barrios’ intelligent reading of the game has drawn comparisons to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, with both men guilt of diving into tackles on occasion despite all of their many strengths.

He may be raw, with no experience of playing in Europe, but at £25 million he could prove to be a bargain and Mauricio Pochettino’s return home to go on a shopping spree could provide a long-term solution to the holding midfield role which seems as uncertain as ever after the 2017/18 season.

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If Tottenham lose Christian Eriksen, Hakim Ziyech is a quality replacement

Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with the Ajax star this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to keep as much of their squad together for next season after another impressive, but ultimately trophyless campaign. One player who it seems may be hard to keep hold of is Danish attacker Christian Eriksen.

The playmaker has perhaps just had the best season of his Tottenham career but has attracted interest with that form. Barcelona are looking to find a replacement for club legend Andres Iniesta, who is leaving the Nou Camp this summer. As reported by Don Balon this weekend, Barca have decided Eriksen is the man for that job.

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With Barca lurking, Tottenham will be fearful of losing their Danish star. But who would the club sign as his replacement?

One potential option appears to be Moroccan international and Ajax star Hakim Ziyech. Last week it was reported that Spurs were one of many clubs interested in the player by Italian outlet Calciomercato.

So could he replace Eriksen?

The obvious comparisons begin with the club from which Tottenham would be signing him. Eriksen also arrived at Spurs from Ajax and has certainly proved to be a success.

In terms of playing style, he is very much like the Spurs star. An intelligent player he reads the game brilliantly. His passing range is also excellent and he has shown that on numerous occasions for Ajax the past two season.

This season he has scored nine goals in 39 appearances but has also been an assist machine. The 25-year-old has provided an incredible 18 assists in all competitions this season and is set to be the focal point of Morocco’s attack at the World Cup this summer.

(Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

With Eriksen gone, Tottenham would be in need of a similar assist king and Ziyech is young enough to continue improving whilst still offering much of what Eriksen does for Spurs.

Signing Ziyech whilst Eriksen remains at the club would certainly not be necessary. With Dele Alli also present, it would be overkill in the number 10 role at Spurs.

But should they reluctantly let Eriksen head to Spain, Tottenham would be right to sign the carbon-copy Moroccan from Ajax this summer.

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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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