Where do Hutton and Spurs go from here?

Alan Hutton last week stated his desire to stay at the Mackems on a permanent basis, where he has been on loan since joining from Tottenham in January. The Scottish international, who has also been linked with a summer move to Newcastle, is flourishing and wants to join the side to experience regular first-team football. He may want to leave right now, but Hutton could still do a job for Spurs next season and show them the reason why they spent £9 million to sign him two years ago. The question is: does Hutton still have a future at White Hart Lane or should he be sold in the summer?

Tottenham are currently four points off fourth-place Man City with a game in hand and still have a real chance of securing Champions League football next season. At the very least they will be in the Europa League, as they are two points ahead of sixth-place Liverpool with two games in hand. Playing in Europe means extra games and the need for a bigger squad, therefore Spurs will need quality cover at every position. This is where Hutton comes in; he can offer something different to Vedran Corluka at the right back position and could be a good backup to the Croatian international.

Hutton has been in fine form for Sunderland since joining in January, starting 8 games for the club and combining well with Jordan Henderson on the right wing. His forays down the right side have impressed his teammates, notably compatriot Craig Gordon, who said of Hutton:

“Seriously, he’s been a fantastic addition. His ability going forward means he’s a great outlet ball for us and it is quite rare to be that good going forward as a defender.

“He has worked well with Fraizer Campbell and Jordan Henderson on the right over the last few weeks and he gives us a bit of a threat down the right. His performances have been excellent and long may it continue.”

The chance to play regularly has demonstrated what Hutton can do, as he has been not been a regular starter for Tottenham this season, starting only one Premier League game and making 7 substitute appearances. The right back, who signed from Rangers for £9 million in 2008, has struggled with injuries at White Hart Lane and his form regressed for Spurs considerably after winning the Carling Cup in 2008. Hutton’s performances for Tottenham since have divided opinion: some people think he is a good player that has been unlucky with injuries and some believe he is a waste of space that needs to be sold.

Hutton does offer something different to Corluka at right back; he is a lot more attacking than the Croatian and gives Spurs more energy, pace and width down that right hand side. But the problem with Hutton is that he effectively negates the presence of Aaron Lennon, as he bursts in front of Lennon, leaving the defence exposed and meaning the England international can’t have as much impact on the game. If you look at how good Lennon was for Spurs before he could injured, it was because he had Corluka behind him to stay back to defend while Lennon attacks.

A factor counting against a Hutton return is the emergence of youngsters like Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker at White Hart Lane. Both defenders definitely have potential, Naughton has experienced first team football at Middlesborough but both have limited Premier League experience and are untested at the highest level. Hutton is only 25 and still has the potential to get better, and has that experience of playing in the Champions League with Rangers, therefore could be a valuable squad player for Spurs next season. What do you think – should Spurs keep Hutton at the club next season or sell him to the highest bidder?

Follow Tom Jinks on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tomjinks