Tottenham have moved quickly this summer to potentially remedy a long-term problem area for the club, with the recruitment of a number of new central defenders to bolster Mauricio Pochettino’s backline.
Spurs have failed to find a stable centre-half pairing over recent years, but the Argentine trainer’s options have been increased significantly by the addition of two new impressive signings.
Toby Alderweireld and Kevin Wimmer join the North London club from Atletico Madrid and FC Koln respectively, giving the Spurs boss the luxury of mixing and matching at the heart of his rearguard next term.
The Belgian joins the White Hart Lane side after a mightily impressive campaign on loan at Southampton, where he showed that he has all the physical and technical attributes to be a real asset in English football.
Alderweireld is widely expected to partner national compatriot Jan Vertonghen in the heart of the side’s defence next term, with the pair playing together for a number of silverware-laden seasons at previous club Ajax.
Although Younes Kaboul has been offloaded to Sunderland and Vlad Chiriches is widely expected to follow him out the door, Spurs have no shortage of other options.
Wimmer is a confident and physically imposing addition to Pochettino’s contingent, with a deceiving turn of pace also. Although he will take time to adjust to his new environment, the 22-year-old Austrian will look to pick up first-team game time next season and could be an impressive option.
The fact that he is left-footed suggests that he would be an alternative to Vertonghen, rather than Alderweireld.
Federico Fazio had a mixed debut campaign in English football, with his excellent aerial ability and solid stature counter-acted by his notable lack of pace. The Argentine is clearly favoured by compatriot Pochettino, but just how much football he is set to play in 2015-16 remains to be seen.
However, the Spurs star that is in most danger of missing out on regular action next season is Eric Dier. The former Sporting Lisbon man showed in his first season at Spurs that he has the raw ability to be a top central defender, even if he still has work to do to achieve this status.
Pochettino partnered Dier with Vertonghen for a run of games last season, but the England under-21 man was also used at right-back at times and also spent a prolonged period out of the team.
With the Belgian duo’s likely status as first preference for the White Hart Lane side, Dier’s development could well be blunted.
For a young and promising defender like Dier, regular first-team football is necessary to see him proposer and continue to improve.
With Pochettino playing a back four and having five central defenders at his disposal, six if you count Chiriches, it is evident that there is going to be some disappointment next term.
Dier looks like one of the players set to miss out, which will come as a frustration given his positive showings as a centre-half when given the chance last term.