It goes without saying that much will have to go Tottenham’s way in the seven games that remain if they are to do the unthinkable and overhaul Chelsea’s seven-point advantage at the top of the Premier League. Despite missing talisman Harry Kane for four Premier League games following injury in the FA Cup Quarter-Final win over Millwall, Spurs have managed to win all of their fixtures since to stay in touch with the leaders, with Kane having made his comeback from the bench against Watford.
But Kane, who was denied a goal on his return by the woodwork after his long-distance free-kick drive kissed the upright in stoppage time against the Hornets, has spoken out in an interview with the Daily Mirror, and is insistent that Spurs will continue the chase until the very end.
As they did over the weekend before Chelsea reinforced their advantage in Saturday’s late kick-off at Bournemouth, Spurs will have the opportunity to apply pressure on the Blues by once again closing the gap to just four points, when they themselves take on the Cherries on Saturday, before the Blues travel to Old Trafford for their Super Sunday encounter with Manchester United and former boss José Mourinho.
It is Tottenham’s strength-in-depth and the fact that the whole team have been chipping in with goals, which is paramount to keeping them in the reckoning, according to leading marksman Kane.
“I said earlier in the season that if you want to be title contenders, you need two or three players getting double figures”, he said.
“If more than one player can reach 20 goals this season, it will really help the team.”
With and without Kane in the squad, Spurs have had a tendency to share the goals around the team, but Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, and Son Heung-Min, in particular, have been vital with their contributions in the few games which Kane has missed.
“When you look at the eight league games I’ve missed this season due to injury, we’ve won five and drawn three”, Kane added.
“So we’re still scoring goals and still winning games, which shows the strength in our squad.”
Even if Spurs miss out on a coveted Premier League title, there is one consolation prize they are very much in the reckoning for, which will salvage a great deal of pride for their supporters, in that they are heavy favourites to finish above bitter rivals Arsenal for the first time since 1995.
Arsenal’s hopes of the top-four were dealt a major blow on Monday night, as the Gunners crashed to a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. What will leave a bitter taste in the mouths of Gunners supporters, however, is that at the heart of their torment on Monday was former Spurs player Andros Townsend, who helped himself to the opening goal and put in a man-of-the-match performance on the night.
The victory gave Palace a major boost in their efforts to stave off relegation from the Premier League, but the game had a little more personal significance for Townsend as a former Spurs player, who hopes the result gives his former side a big hand in sealing a league finish above their rivals.
“I hope Tottenham finish above Arsenal”, Townsend told the Daily Mirror. “It looked that way last season and then for some reason it did not happen. I hope so.
“I did enjoy scoring. Obviously being a Tottenham boy, to score against Arsenal is an incredible feeling.
“And to help us on the way to a great win. The important thing was the three points. I am just focusing on Crystal Palace and hoping we survive.”
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Clement Lenglet is the perfect replacement for Toby Alderweireld
The French defender has been in fine form for Sevilla.
When Manchester United were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla last week, plenty of the La Liga side’s players put in heroic displays.
Wissam Ben Yedder, the goalscorer of both Sevilla’s goals on the night received the highest praise. However, it was defender Clement Lenglet who deserved the biggest plaudits.
The 22-year-old did a wonderful job of shackling Romelu Lukaku for most of the game, putting in a brave and assured performance at centre-back.
It was a display that undoubtedly won him some fans, and Tottenham Hotspur should be one of them.
It looks increasingly likely that Tottenham will lose Toby Alderweireld in the summer.
HLN in Belgium reported this week that Spurs have ended contract talks with the Belgian and are prepared to sell him for £43 million.
Tottenham, therefore, have a potential gap in the centre-back position.
Lenglet is the perfect option. Not only is he good enough, as he proved by United last week, but he fits the profile of a Tottenham signing.
The Sevilla defender is just 22 years of age and has years ahead of him to develop. Then, there is his release clause.
According to a recent report from Diario AS, the Frenchman has a release clause of just €30 million (£26.2 million).
Such a fee for a player of his talent and his age would amount to daylight robbery.
Lenglet, who only joined Sevilla from Nancy last summer, would be the perfect option for Spurs to replace Alderweireld.
He could rotate with fellow young talent Davinson Sanchez playing alongside the more experienced Jan Vertonghen in defence.
With a Frenchman behind him in Hugo Lloris and French speaker in Vertonghen, he would not have to worry much about the language barrier just yet.
Strong, fast, capable on the ball and a raw talent he is exactly the sort of player Mauricio Pochettino could mould into a future Tottenham star.
Alderweireld’s exit will no doubt be a shame for Tottenham.
Nonetheless, if they can bring in Lenglet for £17 million less than they sell the Belgian for, the club will have pulled off a masterstroke.
Tottenham should fear Toby Alderweireld’s potential exit
Losing the Belgian international would be a huge blow for the Lilywhites.
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.
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.
£43m for Toby Alderweireld would be great business for Tottenham Hotspur
It seems that the Belgian defender is definitely on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur.
It seems as though Toby Alderweireld is on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur.
It is being reported by Het Laatse Nieuws today that the Belgian’s contract talks with Spurs have been halted.
With the Belgian out of contract in the summer of 2019, Spurs will attempt to cash in on Alderweireld now.
A fee of £43 million has been mentioned for the player, who reportedly wanted a wage to match that of Virgil van Dijk at Liverpool.
Tottenham’s stance of not paying out big wages to their top players has often been criticised. But on this occasion, the Lilywhites are doing the right thing.
On his day and when fit, Alderweireld might be the best centre-back in the Premier League. However, it has been a long time since the Belgian had such a day.
Most of this season has seen Alderweireld on the treatment table. When he has played, it has always seemed a precursor to his next injury.
Given his age and contract situation, the injury record gives Alderweireld three strikes. At £43 million, Tottenham would be getting a fantastic deal for their defender.
The report from HLN claimed that Alderweireld wanted a wage in the region of €180,000-a-week (£160,000-a-week). Such a sum is vast for a player with his current issues.
The fact Spurs were reportedly willing to go as high as €120,000 (£105,000) per week shows that Daniel Levy tried to keep the Belgian, even doubling his current wage, but Alderweireld is on his way.
It will be a shame for Spurs but breaking the wage structure at the club for an injury prone defender would not have been a wise move.
Eventually, Tottenham might have to be more lenient with their wages, but that should be saved for the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli or Christian Eriksen.
Tottenham should take £43 million for Alderweireld and persevere with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth.
Alderweireld’s next club will hope they can keep the Belgian fit long enough to reap the rewards of his potential signature.
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