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Would Victor Wanyama be an upgrade on Tottenham’s current midfield?

The Boot Room

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Victor Wanyama has been linked with a move from Southampton to Tottenham for the past two years and this summer Spurs are reportedly closer than ever.

The Kenyan midfielder was fantastic for the Saints last season in his role just in front of the defence and he is keen to re-join former manager Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane.

However, much of the first choice midfield at Spurs were in fantastic form in their unlikely title challenge, and it is questionable whether Wanyama would be a sensible investment as the Southampton board are sure to demand a sizeable fee.

Here we compare Spurs’ current midfield to 24-year-old Wanyama.

Strength

There’s no doubt that Wanyama provides a physical presence in the centre of midfield and a willingness to defend. He would give Spurs a midfielder who is able to break up play and launch counter-attacks but is this something they don’t already have?

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Eric Dier in his new defensive midfield position provides an ability to tackle and find a quick pass.

Another player who was vital for Tottenham last season was Mousa Dembele. The Belgians’ importance was underlined towards the end of the season as Spurs surrendered second place to North London rivals, Arsenal.

Dembele received a six-game suspension in their game against Chelsea and their season collapsed from then on, as the unthinkable happened when they slipped below Arsenal.

Wanyama is a talented defensive midfielder who Pochettino knows is capable of providing more steel to the Spurs team.

Discipline

In Spurs’ game against Chelsea, Eden Hazard scored the goal that gave the title to Leicester CityThe story of the night was both the title win for the Foxes but also the battle on the pitch. Eric Dier, Moussa Dembele and Dele Alli were all diving into rash challenges as they watched their title dreams slip away.

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Spurs’ midfield lost their heads in that game, perhaps largely to the youthful core in the squad.

If it is a cool head in midfield that Pochettino is seeking then Wanyama certainly isn’t the right choice.

The former Celtic man picked up three red cards last season due a series of rash challenges, which saw him suspended for five matches as punishment.

Despite being just 22 years old, Dier shows a level of maturity in his defending and marking duties.

Wanyama is unlikely to come in and replace fan-favourite, Dier but perhaps could be paired with him in front of the Spurs defence.

Experience

With Champions League football coming to White Hart Lane next season, Pochettino will want some experience amongst his young squad.

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The likes or Dier, Alli and Kane who were so important for Spurs last season, have never played amongst Europe’s elite and despite being 24, Wanyama has more experience of the competition than most in the current Spurs squad.

Celtic’s Champions League campaigns were usually short-lived but they still faced teams such as Barcelona, with Wanyama producing some mighty performances in Glasgow, which resulted in Premier League clubs taking
notice.

Pochettino may see the Kenyan as a useful player to have for the tournament, as they are likely to need to set up more defensively than they do in the Premier League.

More Cover For Injuries

Spurs were reasonably unaffected by injuries last season but their squad begins to look quite thin if a few players did pick up knocks.

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Players such as Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb do not possess the ability to perform at the highest level. Wanyama going to Spurs would allow Dembele to be able to push up into a more attacking role, should the attacking trio of Erik Lamela, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen pick up knocks.

It is fair to say that the biggest positive that signing Wanyama would bring is his experience in the Champions League.

The attacking, full- throttle style of the Premier League is a dangerous one to adopt in the Champions League.

Teams such as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona have the ability to pick teams off but starting Wanyama with Dier would give the Spurs defence some much-needed extra cover.

Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Ian Johnson

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Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur should have swooped for Luciano Vietto this summer

Luciano Vietto could have been a solid back-up to Harry Kane this season.

Mathew Nash

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Fulham pulled off something of a coup on transfer deadline day. The Cottagers snapped up Argentine talent Luciano Vietto on loan from Atletico Madrid for the season. It was a great piece of business from the club, considering the talent the 24-year-old striker possesses.

But one other London club should have been in for the player. Tottenham Hotspur needed striking reinforcements this summer. With Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen both unable to provide adequate cover for Harry Kane, it is an area Tottenham struggle.

A move for Anthony Martial was mooted early on, but nothing ever came to pass.

(Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images for ICC)

Vietto could have been a perfect option. With only Llorente for competition, he could have easily become the main back-up to Kane. Mauricio Pochettino is on good terms with his former international team-mate and Atletico manager Diego Simeone, so convincing them of a deal would not have been hard.

Vietto could have arrived on a loan-to-buy scheme, giving Tottenham the chance to sign him next summer should he be a hit.

Whilst many will question whether Vietto would have been good enough for Spurs, his past form indicates he could have done a job. His tally of five goals for Valencia last season is nothing to celebrate. However, his 10 as the back-up at Sevilla the season before and his incredible 2015-16 with former club Villarreal show he just needs a chance to shine.

Fulham may now give him that and, Vietto will hope to prove his worth. Tottenham, however, should have been in the race. If he goes on to thrive in West London, some fans will rightly ask why Spurs did not make a move.

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Tottenham Hotspur round-up: Janssen number stripped, Rose can go and Eriksen interest

A selection of the latest news and gossip from Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash

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Shirt off his back

Vincent Janssen has had his shirt number stripped. The club announced their new squad numbers for the season this afternoon and the Dutch striker is without a number.

He had previously held the number nine shirt, following a move from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2016.

However, the number is now vacant as it appears Tottenham try to shift him before the end of the month.

Janssen failed to adapt to Premier League football and spent last season on loan at Fenerbahce.

(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Rose allowed to leave

Tottenham are happy to let Danny Rose leave the club before the end of the month. According to The Mirror, Spurs are ready to let Rose leave despite the transfer window being shut.

The England international has fallen out-of-favour with manager Mauricio Pochettino, who is now happy to let him go.

PSG and Schalke have both shown an interest in the player. Both club’s transfer windows remain open.

Tottenham feel they have adequate cover with youngster Kyle Walker-Peters and centre-back Jan Vertonghen able to play in his position.

Eriksen rumours

There is more interest in Christian Eriksen being reported this week. Real Madrid’s interest was already known. However, PSG are also said to be keen on the Danish midfielder.

According to the Daily Star, the French side are preparing a £100 million move for the playmaker before the end of the month.

Tottenham fans should however not be fearful. The club have ruled out any potential exit for Eriksen this summer.

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Ben Davies form could surely see Tottenham perform Danny Rose exit U-turn

The Welsh left-back has not been in great form recently for Tottenham Hotspur.

Mathew Nash

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Tottenham Hotspur looked certain to lose Danny Rose this summer. The England international’s position at the club has become troublesome of late, after his criticism of the club last summer. However, since then, injuries have put Rose back and in his absence, a former scapegoat found his feet.

Welshman Ben Davies was often pilloried by the Tottenham public for some bad form prior to Rose’s injury. But last season Davies was in sensational form. A threat going forward as well as defensively, his tireless work-rate and professionalism left Rose chasing shadows once fit.

Rose was recently linked with Schalke 04 and PSG, as reported by The Sun, as Davies continues as number one choice.

However, Tottenham must be starting to consider giving Rose another go.

(Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

Davies has struggled for form recently. Pre-season did not go his way and a performance against Girona was particularly bad.

Against Newcastle United, at the weekend he again did not look at his best and some Tottenham fans are now calling for Rose to be reinstated.

Whilst Davies does deserve a chance to continue in the starting XI his form must be a concern for Mauricio Pochettino.

With Tottenham set for yet another busy season, rotation could become key. So allowing rose to go, with the first-choice looking ropey, would seem a big mistake from Tottenham.

It could be Rose still has a Tottenham future for now.

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