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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham round-up: Lamela and Rose latest; Kane reveals secret behind recent success; French giants eye Pochettino

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For clubs competing at the top end of the Premier League, going strong in cup competitions, and competing in Europe the football season can be a long and exhausting affair, with several key players beginning to suffer from fatigue and injury. Tottenham Hotspur are no different in that respect, and today manager Mauricio Pochettino has hinted that wide-man Erik Lamela, who has been absent since October, may not feature for the club again this season, whilst left-back Danny Rose is expected to return in April.

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Lamela last played for Spurs on October 25th, in their 2-1 EFL Cup defeat at Liverpool, after a hip problem plus further time-off for family reasons kept him out of action.

The Argentine returned to former club Roma to undergo treatment on his hip problem in January, and according to Pochettino is now fully concentrated on his rehabilitation from injury rather than grappling with any personal issues, yet the manager refused to put a time-frame on the winger’s return.

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Speaking to the London Evening Standard on his compatriot, Pochettino said:

I don’t want to lie to you and give some information that after you use, and you are right to use, but I can’t say one, two weeks, three weeks, one month or maybe next season, I don’t know.”

“It’s too difficult my position because we are assessing him every day, how he is in the morning, we prepare a plan, sometimes he is involved from the beginning in the warm-up with the team, sometimes he feels pain, we change the plan.

“Now it is day by day and we see. We hope he can be available again as soon as possible as that is our idea but we can’t give any more information.”

Despite the wide-man being absent for much of the season, Pochettino’s men have been faring just fine without him, and even have the bonus of remaining second in the table after Manchester City failed to beat Stoke during the week. For now, though, attention turns back to the FA Cup, and Spurs are in with a realistic chance of scooping the trophy, with a quarter-final tie against Millwall to come this weekend.

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Although the impact of continually missing Lamela may not seem so great, they will have to see off this season’s giant-killers without flying full-back Danny Rose, who has been out of action since the end of January.

A more positive prognosis has been given on Rose’s injury, though, with the club announcing that he is progressing from a medial ligament problem as expected and should return at some point in April, according to Sky Sports.

“We’ll see (when Rose will return). I cannot give the date but we are happy with his recovery,” said Pochettino, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“We have one week and then international break, then we will see in two or three weeks if he can stay and train with the group, then we will see the right time for him to play.”

Focusing on the upcoming challenge, although Pochettino has tended to rotate his squad for cup matches, one ever-present has been the in-form Harry Kane, who has recently been named February’s Premier League EA Sports Player of the Month.

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Speaking to the club’s official website, Kane declared that a change of diet in January has been behind his excellent form since the turn of the year, before paying tribute to the efforts of his teammates.

“My diet has changed since January,” said Kane, who already has 14 goals in 12 appearances in 2017, and on course for a second consecutive Golden Boot.

“I’ve got a new chef who I’ve been working with to help with my nutrition, to get me a bit leaner and quicker and that seems to be working.”

“The team are creating so many chances, with the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, so I give all my thanks to my teammates for this award”.

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It is surprising that Kane was even able to improve more so, on his form coming into the New Year. To say he wasn’t enjoying a purple patch would be an understatement, but with three hat-tricks this calendar year alone amongst his 14 goals, the 23-year-old is in the form of his career and is only seven goals away from equalling the 25 goals that were enough to land him the Golden Boot last season.

If this form continues, it will surely be a one-horse race as far as that accolade goes, hence the growing importance of Tottenham being able to win a trophy. Their weekend clash with Millwall, as well as being the final FA Cup game to be played at their White Hart Lane home, may be paramount, since it offers their realistic chance of winning any silverware this year, given Chelsea‘s ten-point cushion at the Premier League summit.

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A huge part of continuing the project underway at Spurs to establish themselves as one of the leading clubs in the country will be retaining the services of Mauricio Pochettino at the helm. Speculation has already linked him to Barcelona after current Camp Nou boss Luis Enrique announced he will step down at the end of the season. Now, he is reportedly on the shortlist to take over at French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, if the club’s Qatari ownership opts to dispense with the services of Unai Emery at the end of the season, according to the London Evening Standard.

The owners of the Parc des Princes outfit have turned the Parisians into the dominant force in French football with their significant investment, however, they have been yet to deliver the ultimate prize of the Champions League. Under former Sevilla boss Emery, however, PSG have toiled in the title race compared to recent years and are locked in a three-way battle for the league alongside free-scoring Monaco and surprise package OGC Nice.

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And now PSG’s shock 6-1 defeat at the Camp Nou in the week, in which they conceded three goals after 88 minutes to crash out of the Champions League after seemingly looking home and dry, has firmly put Emery’s head on the chopping-block. Whilst the current manager’s future is being pondered, though, it has come to light that the French side have been closely monitoring Pochettino’s progress since his stint at Southampton.

Pochettino is familiar with the club having spent two years there as a player in the early 2000’s, but given the fact he is currently under a five-year contract at Tottenham, it is unlikely Daniel Levy would welcome any external interest in the Argentine. Pochettino has also declared that he is happy in North London, and the club expect the 45-year-old to still be in charge of the club by the time they occupy their new stadium in 2018.

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A great deal of the Pochettino project has also included investing in younger players who they may develop to supplement the side, as well as making full use of the club’s growing academy system. It would make little sporting sense for Pochettino to depart for a club whose ethos at present is to recruit via heavy investment, and it would seem he is equally more favourable of remaining at the club to reap the fruit of the club’s trust in youth, rather than jump ship too early.

Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by NewcastleUnited.

Scott is a Port Vale fan who writes regularly for The Boot Room as a freelancer. He is a fan of several sports but most of his experience in journalism comes from football and volleyball. He has produced several works on major Championships for both the FIVB and CEV in the volleyball world out in Switzerland, and is currently studying for a BA Hons in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford.

English Premier League

It Tottenham Hotspur sign Cedric Soares, Kyle Walker-Peters must move on

If Tottenham Hotspur want Cedric Soares, then Kyle Walker-Peters should force a Tottenham exit.

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It is being reported by The Mirror that Tottenham Hotspur are in the hunt for three Portugal internationals this summer. The report claims that Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves, Sporting Lisbon winger Gelson Martins and, finally, Southampton right-back Cedric Soares are all on the radar of Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

The former duo makes sense for Spurs, central midfield and wide areas remain a problem for the club. But Soares seems a waste of time and money.

Undoubtedly the 26-year-old is a great right-back, but the report comes in the same week as ESPN reported Tottenham were ready to offer young full-back Kyle Walker-Peters a new deal at the club.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

The 21-year-old has shown glimpses of real talent during his time at Spurs and will soon be hoping to break into the first-team picture. The offer of a new deal would be a major indicator that the England under-20 World Cup winner has a long-term future at the club.

Signing Soares would be a massive barrier to that end goal.

It would leave Spurs having Kieran Trippier and Serge Aurier as well as Soares and Walker-Peters.

If the idea is to sell Aurier, who has failed to convince since arriving from PSG in the summer, then Tottenham should not replace him with an expensive new recruit.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Walker-Peters is ready and waiting to go in the first-team and most fans believe he has what it takes to be a star under Pochettino.

Bringing in Soares would seem something of an unnecessary exercise from Tottenham and one which would surely leave Walker-Peters questioning his role at the club.

Tottenham should instead continue with their pursuit of a new deal for their young talent, who can operate on both the right and left side of the defence. If not, the 21-year-old should seriously consider forcing an exit away from Spurs, as it would appear his chance with the first-team is never forthcoming.

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English Premier League

Aston Villa reportedly not keen on keeping Josh Onomah, so what next?

The talented England youth international has had a mixed campaign at Aston Villa and Tottenham have a decision to make.

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Reports this week have confirmed what has long been suspected regarding Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Joshua Onomah. The talented maestro headed to Aston Villa at the start of the season in the hunt for regular first-team football. But next season he will not be at Villa Park, as the club have decided not to make any move to retain him next term – according to the Birmingham Mail.

This is no shock for Aston Villa or Tottenham fans. Onomah has had a difficult season at Villa Park. The 20-year-old has played plenty of football during his spell in the Midlands. Onomah has featured 34 times for Steve Bruce’s side and scored four goals. But his form has been indifferent throughout the campaign. The second-half of the season saw his form drop off dramatically. Since the turn of the year, Onomah has played just 10 times, mostly as a substitute.

Aston Villa fans were vocal in their displeasure at Onomah’s performances, perceiving him to be lackadaisical and disinterested. Most wanted to see their own talents such as Callum O’Hare and Keinan Davis get a shot instead.

(X during the Premier League 2 match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on February 5, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

So what next for Onomah?

He started the campaign with great hope. After playing a pivotal role in the England under-20 World Cup win, many felt this could be his breakthrough season.

But his spell at Villa has just highlighted the fact he is far from the finished article.

As far as a future at Tottenham goes, it is hard to see him not being loaned out again next term. Spurs have ample options in the centre of midfield – with the likes of Mousa Dembele, Moussa Sissoko, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks all at Mauricio Pochettino’s service. With rumours of new central midfield options also arriving Onomah is likely to be loaned out again next season.

If that is the case, Spurs must choose his next location with more care. Villa already have plenty of midfield options and the youngsters coming through led to resentment among much of the fanbase whenever Onomah got the nod ahead of them.

If Tottenham can find Onomah a home in the Championship where he can play regular football week in and week out and be a star for the fans that would be the ideal solution.

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Crystal Palace

Three potential England replacements for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

The Liverpool midfielder has been ruled out of the summer’s World Cup.

Jake Jackman

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It looked bad for Liverpool and England when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was stretchered off during the first half of the Reds’ game against AS Roma in the Champions League and their worst fears were confirmed on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old has suffered a knee injury, which will keep him out of the rest of the season and this summer’s World Cup.

This is incredibly harsh news to take for the midfielder, who had been playing the best football of his career under Jurgen Klopp.

Last summer, he made a huge career decision as he chose to leave Arsenal to join top-six rivals Liverpool and, in hindsight, it has been a great move for him.

His influence and consistency have stood out from the centre of the park and England would have benefitted from that in Russia.

However, Gareth Southgate needs to readjust quickly and find a suitable alternative to the Liverpool midfielder.

Here are three players that could replace Oxlade-Chamberlain and receive a World Cup call this summer:

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – Crystal Palace

The injury to Oxlade-Chamberlain has opened up an opportunity for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who will now have a chance of making the plane for Russia.

The midfielder has impressed at Crystal Palace and he delivered an assured performance against Germany on his international debut. Although injuries have hindered his progress since he remains one of the only dynamic midfielders available to Gareth Southgate.

Against Germany, he completed 96.2% of his passes and completed four successful dribbles. There were a lot of people that thought the call came too soon, but he looked at home on the international stage and he will be unknown to a lot of the teams England are due to face.

Oxlade-Chamberlain was going to provide the power and pace in the England midfield. Loftus-Cheek may not be as experienced as the Liverpool man, but he can step up and perform a similar role. If he can finish the season strongly, he will have a great chance of making the squad.

England Training Session And Press Conference

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Jonjo Shelvey – Newcastle United

There are growing calls for the Newcastle United midfielder to be called up by Gareth Southgate and they will only increase with the news of Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury.

Shelvey won’t be able to step into the same role, but he can provide different qualities and could be a worthy selection for England.

Newcastle’s recent surge up the league table have shown Shelvey in a good light and he has been a major reason for his team’s success.

The 26-year-old dictates the game from deep and has a passing range that can’t be matched by any other English player.

Against Arsenal, he was putting his team-mates in on goal at will and there is a place for his skills in the national set-up.

England have a number of quick attacking players and against better teams, Shelvey would provide a good option.

Southgate will need to set his side up to counter-attack and there is no better player to pick out the runs of Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy than the Newcastle midfielder.

There are risks to selecting the 26-year-old, but he deserves to be considered for the summer’s tournament.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Dele Alli – Tottenham

The Tottenham midfielder is going to go to the World Cup. Nobody can debate that, but he has found himself out of the starting eleven during recent friendly matches.

The injury to Oxlade-Chamberlain may benefit him, as there will now be a midfield position up for grabs.

Alli isn’t as comfortable in a central role as Oxlade-Chamberlain, but his goal threat and intelligent movement means that he could step into the starting eleven and play well.

The 22-year-old has had his critics this season, but a return of eight goals and ten assists in the Premier League underline the quality that he provides to a team.

Southgate will need to make sure Alli knows his defensive responsibilities and that the player carries them out to the letter, as England can’t afford to carry a midfield player.

At the age of 22, this summer could be an opportunity to break out for the Tottenham man.

It would be a risk to start him in a deeper role, but the rewards may be worth it.

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