This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has midfield options coming out of his ears right now, and the key selection dilemma must surely be causing him sleepless nights.
Take this weekend for the visit of Crystal Palace, for example.
Assuming Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Eric Dier are fit and available for selection after the club confirmed their return to training on Thursday, Pochettino has those three, plus Son Heung-Min, Christian Eriksen, Moussa Sissoko, Erik Lamela, Lucas Moura, Dele Alli, Moussa Sissoko, Harry Winks, Victor Wanyama and Oliver Skipp to choose from, for what is likely five spots in that area.
That list of names doesn’t even include summer arrival Giovani Lo Celso, who is unlikely to be back in action until November having suffered a hip injury.
While it is often said that managers would prefer to have selection headaches than not having enough good players to pick from, this might be too far the other way!
For example, a quick glance at the aforementioned list and most people would probably select Ndombele, Son and Eriksen as regular starters, with Alli another popular choice.
Yet, Sissoko, Winks and Lamela have started all four of the north London outfit’s Premier League encounters to date this term, and with the former duo also racking up 85 appearances in all competitions between them in 2018/19, it seems like they are at the forefront of their manager’s thinking.
When Lo Celso does return it will be an even more difficult decision, and Pochettino surely faces the potential issue of players becoming unhappy at their lack of minutes, even with the possibility of rotation between the top flight, the Champions League and the domestic cup competitions.
We certainly don’t envy the former Southampton boss on this particular matter.