With the January transfer window now closed, Mauricio Pochettino has six months to decide who does and who doesn’t have a future in his Tottenham squad before the market reopens in July.
Having changed in both management and philosophy this season, Mirror Football claimed the Lilywhites were planning a mid-season clear-out last month, but the only notable departure came in the form of Aaron Lennon, who joined Everton on loan until the end of the campaign.
Resultantly, Spurs are now expected to separate the wheat from the chaff this summer instead, and just in case Pochettino is undecided on a few of his first teamers, here’s FIVE we think he should throw on the scrapheap.
The most expensive signing in the club’s history, Tottenham desperately need to get some money back on Roberto Soldado before the £27million flop loses all market value.
How much blame can be attached to the Spain international for his wayward form remains open to debate; he always lacked the athletic threat of your generic Premier League striker and of his 81 goals for Valencia, very few were from outside the box, yet Spurs averaged the second-most long-shots per-match of any Premiership side in the two campaigns prior to his summer 2013 arrival.
In other words, Soldado was up against it from the start – but that hardly makes his return of just seven goals in 40 Premier League appearances (four of which have come from the penalty spot) easier for the Lilywhites to swallow.
Now 29 years of age, a shadow of his former La Liga self and unlikely to ever reclaim his first team place from Harry Kane, having started just one Premier League fixture since December, it’s imperative the north Londoners cut their losses on Soldado this summer and get him off the wage bill.
Recent speculation claims Sevilla and Real Sociedad could be prepared to take the misfiring forward off Tottenham’s hands.
Another prime flop of the summer 2013 transfer window, Paulinho’s never quite grasped the high-intensity nature of the Premier League, despite his broad shoulders and decent return of six goals in 30 league outings for Spurs, as an elusive, passive presence that often drifts in and out of games.
That goal-scoring battle-cruiser of box-to-box delight we all saw at Corinthians has never quite arrived at White Hart Lane, and his role in Brazil’s World Cup campaign, ending with that incredible 7-1 defeat to Germany in the semi-finals, appears to have knocked the stuffing out of the 26 year-old – his performances this year have dropped to an even lower standard.
It’s not as if Maurico Pochettino hasn’t given the 5 foot 11 midfielder opportunities to impress; he’s issued Paulinho one start and ten substitute appearances this season, in addition to regular outings in the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League, in a variety of different roles.
Yet, the Selecao star has struggled to adapt to the Argentine’s high-pressing philosophy, and the fact of the matter is that he’s simply too valuable financially to be wallowing on the bench for every game.
The Evening Standard claimed last month, for example, that Cortinthians, Cruzeiro, Inter Milan and Schalke were all keen on signing Paulinho. If there’s that many clubs interested in the South American, Spurs will almost certainly recover the vast majority of their original £17million investment.
Many were surprised when Mauricio Pochettino offered Younes Kaboul the captain’s armband at the start of the season. Somewhat less surprisingly, it only took a few months for the Spurs gaffer’s faith in the Frenchman to completely evaporate.
Indeed, the 29 year-old centre-back hasn’t started a Premier League fixture since November, and in his absence both Federico Fazio and Eric Dier have proved themselves to be far more dependable partners to Jan Vertonghen.
My criticism of Kaboul is a simple one; he’s a lazy defender, too dependent on his recovery pace to prevent goals, rather than positioning himself properly to nullify attacks before they even start.
Quite clearly, the former Portsmouth star’s Spurs career has run its course, and The Independent even alleged on deadline day that he was on the verge of moving to West Ham in a £2.5million deal.
With just a year left on his contract come the summer, the Lilywhites will likely let the defender leave for a nominal fee.
By hook or by crook, Tottenham need to find a way of getting Emmanuel Adebayor out of their club.
Not only is the 30 year-old one of the most mercurial strikers in the Premier League, who has wasted the majority of his career – and his world-class potential – arguing with team-mates, managers and fans, but he’s also on an incredible £100k per-week according to The Telegraph.
A hardly justifiable salary, considering the Togo international has scored a rather unspectacular 18 goals in his last 55 Premier League appearances and is famed for his work-shy attitude.
Many were shocked when Daniel Levy blocked Adebayor’s January deadline day move to West Ham at the final hour, but Spurs will almost certainly offload the former Arsenal and Manchester City striker in the summer.
Mauricio Pochettino is clearly a fan of Andros Townsend and the winger’s form when called upon in the Premier League this year has been decent if rather unspectacular.
Yet, id’ much prefer to see the 23 year-old moved on this summer and now-Everton loanee Aaron Lennon reinstated within the Tottenham squad instead.
Not only has Lennon spent over a decade at White Hart Lane, but his pace, defensive contribution and versatility can be huge assets to any Premier League club when used in the right way.
Townsend, on the other hand, will always be a rather temperamental character – sometimes he looks like the best player on the pitch, other days he seems under-qualified to even represent Tottenham’s reserves.
His potential is well-known however – I’m sure we all remember those excellent QPR performances and that stunning goal for England against Montenegro – so the Lilywhites could likely attract a decent fee for the home-grown starlet.
QPR, Southampton and West Brom are all known to hold an interest in the pacey wide-man.