There are a number of areas that Tottenham will surely look to strengthen this summer, with a case to suggest that the North London club look to bring in players at full-back, right-wing and in attack.
However, another area that Mauricio Pochettino seemingly has not yet got right is at the centre of the team’s defence, with a number of different combinations used over the course of this season.
Despite this, Spurs have been culpable of shipping soft goals in important games, with a feeling of nervousness in the White Hart Lane faithful when Premier League forwards attack the heart of the team’s rearguard.
At the moment it appears that Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier are the Argentine trainer’s first-choice pairing in defence, with Federico Fazio as the first-choice deputy.
There is seemingly no room at the club for Younes Kaboul or Vlad Chiriches, who are both prone to catastrophic performances and as such should be leaving North London this summer.
Despite the countless transfer rumours linking Tottenham with players over recent months, one of the most promising is the report that the club are interested in German enforcer Benedikt Howedes.
The 27-year-old has been in the Schalke first-team squad since graduating from the Ruhr Valley club’s youth academy and has evolved into the Gelsenkirchen outfit’s leader and club captain.
With over 30 caps for Germany and experience of playing in the Champions League, the experienced defender’s calibre is there for all to see.
Although Vertonghen and Dier have had a number of outings together where they have looked solid, Fazio remains a concern due to his lack of pace and clumsiness.
At the moment, it looks like the current incumbents have won their places in the Tottenham team due to the lack of viable alternatives rather than through their own merits.
To increase competition for places at White Hart Lane, selling Chiriches and Kaboul, replacing them with Howedes, would give Spurs four central defenders and the manager more comprehensive options.
Although the German has proven himself to be an able defender with good reading of the game and considerable physical abilities, Howedes would bring other desirable attributes to White Hart Lane.
Spurs have lacked a defensive leader since the days of Ledley King, with the Schalke man potentially acting as something of a stalwart and talisman from the heart of the club’s backline.
Howedes is a fierce competitor, vocal character and leader of men for a club that he feels passionate about currently, and would surely bring these unique attributes to North London if a deal could be agreed.
The defender is in his prime currently and has spoken out in the past stating that if he was to leave Schalke, it would be for a challenge overseas.
With Roberto Di Matteo’s men undergoing a dip in form domestically, tit is looking increasingly likely that Schalke will not be in next season’s Champions League, which will remove another obstacle from Tottenham landing their man.
Although there is an emphasis on youth at Tottenham currently, signing an experienced, complete defender like Howedes would be a massive positive for the club and make them a much more stubborn opponent.