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Three things learnt from Tottenham impressive 2-0 pre-season victory over Juventus



Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham may have struggled to sell out Wembley on Saturday as they hosted Italian giants Juventus, but those at Wembley were in for a spectacle as Mauricio Pochettino‘s men comfortably saw off their opposition.

Harry Kane opened the scoring after just ten minutes when he headed past Gianluigi Buffon from a pinpoint Kieran Trippier cross. Christian Eriksen added a second as Spurs’ pressing game worked well with Eriksen and Alli then teaming up to slice the Italian defence in two before the Dane rounded Buffon to slot home.

Here is what The Boot Room learnt from the game…

Moussa Sissoko could have a revival

Sissoko has been expected to leave this summer after a disappointing first season after joining Spurs for £30 million last summer. However, in his hour long opportunity at Wembley he stood out as one of the stars of the show. Creative and energetic, he was almost unrecognisable.

If Sissoko is to revive his career in north London, he will really have to produce that kind of form on a regular basis. It is the first sign of the player that Mauricio Pochettino thought he was getting this time last year.

Forget the performance and result, the most important event was Kieran Trippier’s injury

Trippier, expected to be Kyle Walker’s replacement at right back, has been one of the best performers throughout pre-season and has shown that he has got what it takes to replace the £50 million departure. However, at Wembley he pulled up with an injury, being forced off and even seen on crutches after the game.

Without Trippier, Pochettino may be forced to turn to youngsters like Kyle Walker-Peters to fill the gap. That is a blow with Danny Rose also unavailable, and Spurs could be down to the bare bones of their squad before the season has even begun.

Spurs can mix it in Europe

For years, Tottenham have failed to produce the goods at the elite stage. Whilst this may have been just a pre-season friendly, it was a complete performance from the Lilywhites against a side who made the Champions League final last season and were imperious in their Serie A success.

If Tottenham can perform like this against other top European sides, they could see themselves become contenders in Europe after all. Importantly, they also banished the supposed Wembley curse with a great display.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.


Liverpool should exploit Juventus’ situation and swoop for Paulo Dybala

The 24-year-old could become a casualty of Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in Turin.

Max Cohen



Photo: Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo’s headline-grabbing transfer to Juventus on Tuesday sent shockwaves around the world, granting the club who many consider the best player in the world while also increasing financial stress in Turin.

With the expensive acquisition of the Portuguese superstar, the Serie A club will be forced to cut costs in some departments in order to avoid running afoul of Financial Fair Play rules.

While Juventus is in a precarious financial state, Liverpool should exploit their position and bid for forward Paulo Dybala in order to replicate Manchester City’s strength in depth.

Dybala is one of the brightest young talents in world football, blessed with remarkable skill, pace, and an uncanny ability to create and finish off chances.

At only 24 years of age, the Argentine international has the ability to flourish into one of the Premier League’s best players if given the chance to shine at Anfield.

(Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp’s men play an exciting, high-tempo style of football that will suit Dybala well, and his creative abilities will be greeted by the likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, and Sadio Mane.

While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be recovering from his devastating injury suffered in the Champions League quarter-finals, Dybala can fill his void in the attacking area of the pitch.

Some observers might believe the signing would be superfluous as Liverpool already possess a wealth of attacking options in their squad. While that is true, the Reds must further strengthen in order to replicate the success of the Premier League’s title-winning clubs.

Manchester City were well-known for stockpiling a plethora of attacking talents, and Pep Guardiola had the luxury at points last season to leave the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva, and others on the bench.

This superb array of forward options granted City the best attack in the league and contributed to their record-breaking Premier League season.

Liverpool must harbour title-winning ambitions this season and, in order to truly challenge the likes of Man City, they need to assemble a top-class bench worthy of changing the course of any match.

The signing of Paulo Dybala would be an excellent step in that process, supplementing the ambitious acquisitions of Nabi Keita and Fabinho.

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After Ronaldo arrival, could Everton look to Gonzalo Higuain for marquee signing?

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival could see the Argentine leave Turin.

Max Cohen



Gonzalo Higuain
Photo: Getty Images

On Tuesday, Cristiano Ronaldo shocked the footballing world and completed his move to Juventus from European champions Real Madrid. And the arrival of the Portuguese superstar in Turin means Gonzalo Higuain could be on his way out, according to the Football.London.

Everton should strongly consider making a sensational swoop for the Argentine international, an internationally-renowned center-forward who could help spearhead Marco Silva and Marcel Brands’ revolution at the club.

Higuain has a glittering scoring record, with over 400 carer goals to his name, and is lauded for his great eye for goal and predatory instinct.

He has excelled in La Liga for Real Madrid, in Serie A for both Napoli and Juventus, and has also has done superbly when playing in European competitions.

(Photo by Marco Bertorello/Getty Images)

Everton have been on the search for an elite center-forward since the departure of Romelu Lukaku, and many supporters thought Cenk Tosun might have finally filled that void when he joined from Besiktas in January.

Yet, despite his decent start, scoring five goals in 14 league appearances, if Everton truly want to return to Europe they must aim higher.

There is no doubting that such a move would come as a complete shock for the Merseyside club, and given the Toffees’ recent struggles, Higuain might be reluctant to make the surprising move.

“‘Pipa’ is a phenomenon. He’s an animal in the penalty box. You don’t want anyone else with the ball at their feet in the penalty box: he will score.”

Leonardo Bonucci, Higuain’s former Juventus teammate.

But for a player who has won Serie A and La Liga crowns, perhaps the allure of a move to the Premier League might appeal to him.

Just as Ronaldo chose a late-career challenge when moving to Juventus, his ex-teammate Higuain might opt for a similar challenge when making the switch to a historic club in the world’s best domestic league.

A big-money signing of a player of the Argentine’s pedigree would send a clear message to the rest of the league that Everton are back and in contention for European places.

And with a new manager and director of football eager to make their mark at Goodison, a marquee transfer like Gonzalo Higuain would be the ideal announcement to return Everton to past glories.

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Crystal Palace

Blow for Crystal Palace as Juventus reportedly enter race for Patrick van Aanholt

Juventus are reportedly interested in bringing the fan favourite to Turin this summer.

Jamie Watts



Crystal Palace‘s hopes of tying down left-back Patrick van Aanholt have taken a serious blow today, with ESPN reporting that Juventus are plotting a potential swoop for the Dutchman this summer.

The Italian champions are said to be drawing up a shortlist of potential candidates to replace superstar fullback Alex Sandro, should he leave for Manchester United in the near future, and the defender is said to feature highly on the wish-list.

Photo: Getty Images

Van Aanholt emerged as a sensational attacking full-back last season, and orchestrated a number of vital wins for the Eagles during the latter half of the campaign.

The ex-Chelsea defender bagged an impressive five goals and an assist in 28 appearances, as his side secured a comfortable 11th place finish, and Roy Hodgson will be desperate to keep him at Selhurst Park beyond the window.

The Eagles are already in the process of fending off Everton for the 27-year-old’s services, with Marco Silva registering his interest in the player last month (Daily Mail). But it appears the task will become a whole lot harder now the Serie A giants are in the mix.

As an attacking full-back by trade, Van Aanholt’s pace – registering the second-fastest sprint speed in the Premier League last term – and versatility, allow him to play anywhere along the left-flank similarly to Sandro, which suits Juve and Max Allegri, who has a knack of employing different systems and strategies regularly.

Photo: Getty Images

The player’s current contract runs until 2021 with Palace and he has previously revealed that he is well settled and comfortable in south-east London.

However, the prospect of moving to one of the world’s biggest clubs, who have just recorded their seventh successive Scudetto, would be incredibly enticing.

And at 27, it could be the last chance for the former Sunderland man to secure a high-profile move.

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