A lot could happen at Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
Amid their recent poor run of form, reports emerged linking the north London outfit with a new manager to replace Jose Mourinho.
According to the Telegraph’s Matt Law, RB Leipzig gem Julian Nagelsmann is Daniel Levy’s first-choice target should he pull the trigger on the Portuguese boss this season.
It’s claimed that whilst Mourinho retains full support from the Spurs chairman, their recent form in the Premier League has been a concern.
The former arch-nemesis was brought in to win silverware in north London, something that has not been achieved since 2008, and with the club in the Carabao Cup final on the horizon, there’s every chance he does that.
However, with Spurs sitting eighth in the top-flight, some six points adrift of the top four, the prospects of Champions League football appear slim. They could, of course, win the Europa League after advancing into the last 16 and qualify there, but strong teams remain in that competition too.
It very much remains to be seen what the future holds for Mourinho in N17, but talk of Nagelsmann should be encouraging for at least one current player, Matt Doherty.
The 29-year-old has struggled to make much of an impact since his £15m move from Wolves in the summer, so much so that his future at the club is in doubt.
According to ESPN reporter James Olley, Mourinho remains unconvinced by the Irish right wing-back and could make him available for a transfer unless his own form drastically changes.
His numbers across the board have regressed, particularly in an attacking nature, but that should not come as a surprise as he was deployed as a wing-back under Nuno Santo, whereas Mourinho often opts for a flat back-four.
As per WhoScored, Doherty’s average rating has dipped from a solid 6.99 to a below-par 6.65, whilst in the Old Gold, he contributed towards seven goals compared to his one assist this season.
The £35m-rated flop is also managing 0.9 fewer shots, 0.5 fewer dribbles and 0.5 more fouls per outing.
Nagelsmann would solve this ongoing nightmare by implementing his system, which is very similar to that of Nuno – Leipzig often play with three-at-the-back, which has allowed the likes of Nordi Mukiele and Angelino to thrive as two important cogs.
Both players have an average rating of 7.00 or above and sit among their five top performers, as per WhoScored.
The duo have also scored seven and assisted five between them so that only goes to show the sort of influence that Nagelsmann’s coaching and system has allowed them to achieve.
Spurs clearly have the players to replicate this as Doherty is a far better option as a wing-back than as full-back, as evident above, and on the other flank, he could deploy Sergio Reguilon in a similar role whilst Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is the sort of powerhouse that can still keep things compact in the middle.
New Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been a major influence – he too utilises a similar system – and once lauded Nagelsmann, he said: “He’s a very inquisitive and very hardworking young coach.”
Therefore, a player who is heavily out-of-favour like Doherty should be thrilled if the decision to replace Mourinho with the Leipzig gem does come to fruition this summer.
It could be the major turning point for his career at Spurs.
AND in other news, Imagine him and Bale: Mourinho must now unleash Spurs’ “freak of a talent”…