Excitement among the Tottenham Hotspur fans has been building in recent weeks, with the North London club extending their unbeaten Premier League run to 14 games last weekend.
With Mauricio Pochettino trusting a group of talented young players and the collective showing more resolve and team spirit than in the anywhen recent memory, the objective of finishing in the top four this season appears to be more achievable than ever.
The Argentine trainer has entrusted a generation of young starlets, leaving one or two seniors surplus to requirements.
Andros Townsend in particular has found first-team football hard to come by and has become something of a forgotten man in Tottenham’s ascent. Frustrated with a lack of playing time, the former QPR loanee was recently embroiled in an after-match confrontation with one of the club’s fitness coaches and duly reprimanded by Pochettino.
His on-field action has been impacted even more negatively since and the presence of others mean that his chances of playing are unlikely to change.
Townsend has the likes of Erik Lamela, Son Heung-min, Nacer Chadli and Christian Eriksen for competition in wide areas, with others such as Clinton N’jie and Alex Pritchard also vying for game time.
The England international may well have catapulted onto the scene following his initial chance in 2013 and starred for the national side also. However, his best role at White Hart Lane has never really been ascertained, with the winger playing on alternative flanks but not offering consistency.
Deployed most often on the right-hand side, Townsend’s preference to cut in-field onto his stronger left foot and shoot has become evident over the years. Opposition defenders have also learnt how to nullify this tactic, forcing the midfielder wide and onto his weaker foot, where his delivery has been poor.
Used on his natural left-hand side, Townsend does not possess the positional discipline to stay on the touchline and play unselfishly and instead still looks to get involved centrally.
With Spurs flourishing without Townsend, whose value continues to deplete as he sits on the bench, January could well be the time for the North London club to part company with the winger.
West Brom have been accredited with an interest in the attacker in the media recently and as such Townsend’s best usage for Spurs currently appears to be as a way to finally land Saido Berahino.
The Burundi-born forward has regressed since his move to north London was blocked by the Baggies in the summer, and it now looks like a swap deal between the players could well suit both parties.
Tottenham may well have to pay a considerable amount of money on top of just offering Townsend to The Hawthorns outfit, but this would fill an attacking void in Pochettino’s squad, which currently lacks strikers.
For West Brom, Townsend’s addition would offer Tony Pulis’ side a direct threat from the flanks to offset the creativity of Stephane Sessegnon and tenacity of James McClean.
As such, despite Tottenham’s dedication to youth, it may well be that the best ploy is for the North London club to cut one of their own loose for the greater good.