Tottenham Hotspur could be in line for an overhaul this summer as manager Jose Mourinho will be wanting to stamp his own mark down on the north London outfit.
They have also suffered hugely this campaign, just nine months after making the Champions League final, a competition they are set to be without next season following exit from all cups and sinking to seven points adrift of the top four.
Over the past few weeks, Spurs have been linked to an array of full-backs, including Norwich City’s Max Aarons, Nice’s Youcef Atal and Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell, per the Express, while Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo has been touted by Alasdair Gold.
What side of the defence does Mourinho need to strengthen most? and who is the best candidate to do so? Our writers each give their verdicts on the matter below.
But what do you think?
“Out of the two, left-back may be the more pressing area of concern for Spurs. Danny Rose’s career in north London looks set to be over following his return from loan at Newcastle, whilst Ben Davies is hardly the definition of a modern-day full-back with just 17 assists in 181 total games for the Lilywhites. The fact Jan Vertonghen has had to do a job on that side speaks volumes of how desperately short of good options Spurs have.
“It may be a long-shot, but a swoop for Ben Chilwell would ease Mourinho’s fears. He has proven himself to be a consistent performer at Premier League level with Leicester, and luring him away from the King Power would be a statement of intent. Strong going forward as he is going back towards his own goal – he averages 1.6 tackles and 1.2 key passes per game in the top-flight this season – he is the perfect heir to Rose’s throne.”
“I don’t think either full-back position is particularly strong at Tottenham, but from a defensive point of view I would trust in Ben Davies far more than I would Serge Aurier on the opposite flank even if he has shown an improvement in recent months – a new right-back has to be the priority this summer.
“For me, it is a no-brainer for Spurs to make a move for Max Aarons. The 20-year-old has been solid, if unspectacular, for Norwich City in the Premier League this season, but given his still tender years he looks to have a big future ahead of him – he has played the full 90 minutes in all 27 of the top-flight fixture he has been available for during 2019/20 to date.
“Aarons will surely only get better and at 20 years of age, he has the time to improve and develop at a big club like the north London outfit are.
“Tottenham signed another young English right-back in Kyle Walker from Sheffield United when he was 19, and Aarons could easily be another Walker for them.”
“If Spurs are serious about moving forward under Mourinho, then they really do need to improve both full-back positions. Aurier specialises in calamitous defending, while Davies has been injured far too often to be relied upon – starting just seven Premier League games this term. In an ideal world, they could address one position and come back to the other later, but no team has kept fewer Premier League clean sheets than Spurs this season, and this problem is definitely a contributing factor.
“There is a real premium on young British Premier League players in terms of pricing, so with that in mind, it may be worth trying to get the funds together for both Youcef Atal and Alex Grimaldo. While this would not be cheap by any means, they can’t afford to just concentrate on one side and leave the other to remain vulnerable for at least another six months, so looking outside of the top leagues may allow them to address both areas.”
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“Spurs won’t be able to complete deals for two new full-backs unless Daniel Levy wants to splash the cash, and given their left-back spot being the weakest right now, they shoud start there. Serge Aurier will do for another season at least with Kyle Walker-Peters as backup.
“Ben Davies isn’t the best defender for a side that should be competing in the Champions League, so they should opt for Benfica’s Alex Grimaldo. Via WhoScored, an average of 2 tackles, 1.4 clearances and 2.2 key passes per game in all competitions this season is an impressive return. His release clause at €60m (£54.5m) should be considerably lower than what teams will command for English talent like Ben Chilwell (Leicester) and Max Aarons (Norwich).”
AND in other news, Spurs fans blast Walker-Peters’ Pochettino comments