Why Chadli’s up and down form is good for Tottenham

Out of all of Tottenham’s players, Nacer Chadli arguably splits opinion among the White Hart Lane faithful the most.

The Belgium international was one of the seven new faces that arrived in North London following the sale of Gareth Bale last summer but his debut campaign was slightly underwhelming.

This term, under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino, the former Twente winger has shown the potential to develop into a top player for Spurs.

However, this progression has been counteracted by a period where Chadli’s contributions dropped.

In the early days of the campaign, the 25-year-old was one of the rare positives of a collectively slow start but once Spurs started hitting the heights with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen firing, Chadli flew under the radar to some degree.

Kane gained most of the accolades for the 5-3 New Year’s Day win over Chelsea but Chadli was also a star performer for the victorious hosts.

Over the festive period in general the Belgian was an important player for Spurs with his ability on show.

From his role as a right-footed inverted winger on the left flank, Chadli has shown the threat of being able to get to the byline but also the potential to cut inside to link-up with team-mates or shoot.

In his debut season the attacker was guilty of being wasteful once he found himself in promising positions. Although this has not been completely stamped out of his game, it is an area where he has improved greatly.

Since the turn of the year Chadli’s showings have dipped to some degree which has seen him criticised in some corners from pundits and fans alike.

Despite his output not being as impressive for a number of months, the death of his father this year must be attributed as a significant reason why the midfielder has not been at his best.

In recent weeks, strikes against Newcastle and last weekend at Southampton saw Chadli chalk up his tenth goal of the campaign – a feat that cannot be balked at but rather applauded.

Given the issues that Spurs have on their right-hand side, where Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend continue to frustrate, the presence of Chadli on the left has been a welcome addition.

Pochettino will surely tinker with his playing contingent this summer and the Spurs team that steps out for the first game of next season could be considerably different to the one that finishes this term.

However, with Chadli’s progression noticeable in 2014-15 and the Belgian starting to deliver, it will be interesting to see just how much better he can get.

There is still an argument to suggest that he should be deployed on his more natural right-hand side but he has been guilty of drifting in and out of games.

That said, despite the ability of Kane and Eriksen in the Tottenham attack, Chadli is a player that can become just as important if he continues at his current rate of progression.