Another week, another impressive victory for Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur. That just seems to be the way of things for the North London club at the moment, but even now amidst their impressive run of form, the Argentine is already building for future trophy hunting and it seems he has set his sights on one Premier League player over the summer as he bids to strengthen his side: Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.
According to the Daily Mirror, long-term admirer Pochettino is ‘confident’ that the two clubs will come to an agreement over a move for the Ivory Coast international, after Spurs failed to land him over the summer transfer window of 2016, with Palace chairman Steve Parish adamant that the 24-year-old was not for sale.
The player himself is thought to be favourable toward a move away, despite being under contract at Selhurst Park until 2020. The opportunity to potentially win trophies and play in Europe may well swing the pendulum in favour of the North Londoners, as well as the chance to appear regularly at Wembley, where the club will play its games next season as re-developments of White Hart Lane continue ahead of the construction of Spurs’ new stadium.
Given the length of Zaha’s contract at Palace, it will take equal to or more than the £30million price-tag on the player’s head for the South London club to sanction any sale, and it may also be paramount in warding of interest from another potential suitor, in the form of wealthy Bundesliga new-boys RB Leipzig, who are also interested in acquiring the winger’s services, according to a separate report by the Mirror.
As of yet, though, this season is far from over and there is still something to salvage from the campaign with an FA Cup Quarter-Final tie against Millwall to come, as well as the continual attempt to close the gap on Chelsea and ensure the club does indeed seal a top-four place in what has been a competitive Premier League season at the top end of the table.
For all their impressive form, a Champions League berth mustn’t be taken for granted, and former Spurs player turned pundit Jamie Redknapp has claimed that the North Londoners must look to finish above bitter rivals Arsenal, in order to begin to show signs of progress.
Arsenal have a game in hand over Tottenham but are four points adrift of Pochettino’s men having also slipped out of the top-four after defeat to Liverpool. The teams will meet again in the final North London Derby of the Premier League season in April, which may have severe permutations for either team’s season, and Redknapp has claimed that finishing above the Gunners will finally put an end to their years of inferiority to their rivals, as well as overcoming a huge psychological barrier in the Spurs camp.
“Tottenham are in better form than Arsenal and they have to make it their year to finish above them and exorcise all those demons that have been there for so long”, Redknapp told Sky Sports.
“It might sound irrelevant to some people, but I spent enough time there to realise the key for them is to finish above Arsenal. They finished third in a two-horse race last year when Arsenal pipped them and it hurt them, it really did. But the way Arsenal are playing at the moment they are never going to get a better chance to finish above them.
“There’s so many good things happening at Tottenham. The nucleus is good, there’s young players and a great young manager. Things are looking up there”.
It has been 22 years since Spurs finished above their bitter rivals, and the ability to claim bragging rights in the long-raging turf war will be a huge sign of progress for the club. It would certainly go a long way towards writing the wrongs of last season too, which as Redknapp justifiably claims, ended with added insult to injury as Arsenal pipped them to second place right at the death after Pochettino’s team had conceded defeat in the Premier League title race.
Meanwhile, Harry Kane isn’t so much concerned with Arsenal going into Monday, but rather with another of Spurs’ foes from the East End of the city, West Ham United, who take on Premier League leaders Chelsea in Monday night’s featured game.
With seven points still between Chelsea and Spurs, and the Blues’ game in hand coming at London Stadium, Kane has been happy to admit that he and his teammates would like a helping hand from the Hammers, despite the rivalry they share.
After Spurs’ latest win at home to Everton on Sunday, Kane told the Daily Express: “I wanted that third goal and I had chances which I should have scored. It would have been another match-ball but I’m delighted with the win.
“We played very well today and controlled the game and then all of a sudden it was a nervy end. It’s an important win, we should have won by more but it’s another step closer to the top of the table.
“We really want West Ham to win against Chelsea tomorrow, we don’t normally say that”.
Whether their rivals do offer them a favour remains to be seen, but even if Spurs are to concede defeat in the title race this season, the nature of the top six requires they keep going til the end nevertheless. Mauricio Pochettino’s long-term vision for the club is of course still in development, and increased involvement in the title race is surely a certainty to follow.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Gordon Judge.