Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly called off plans to appoint Antonio Conte as their new manager after negotiations hit a stumbling block, as reported by Sky Sports.
The north London outfit had been in talks with the 51-year-old over becoming Jose Mourinho’s successor in the role, but on Friday evening it emerged that those negotiations broke down over some of the Italian’s demands, including an apparent reluctance to work with the club’s up-and-coming talents, as per Sky Sports.
According to the Evening Standard, Spurs could now refocus their attention back towards Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag as potential candidates for the vacant managerial post at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
With Conte seemingly falling by the wayside, whoever ends up as Tottenham’s new manager faces potentially one of his toughest tasks yet at N17. They risk losing leading talisman Harry Kane after he expressed his desire to leave, they’ll be competing in the newly-formed Europa Conference League after their lowest league finish since 2008/09 and they may need to operate on a constrained transfer budget.
Back in April, the Daily Mail claimed that Spurs would have to sell before they buy this summer, although there are plenty of names who could garner finances, with the futures of Dele Alli, Harry Winks, Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth, Erik Lamela, Davinson Sanchez and Lucas Moura all up in the air.
Arguably the biggest problem facing the new manager will be the defence they inherit. Individual mistakes and a lack of cohesion in the backline was Spurs’ Achilles heel throughout the 2020/21 season.
It was evident that Sanchez and Eric Dier aren’t good enough as a pairing, whilst Toby Alderweireld is getting no younger. It’s hardly a surprise that football.london reported that Tottenham want two new central defensive additions but that’ll cost a lot of money.
Perhaps they may have one solution at the club already in Joe Rodon, the rarely-seen summer window signing, who looked the part whenever given an opportunity.
He’s a player who has been earmarked for the future, with former Spurs captain Gary Mabbutt telling Football FanCast in an exclusive interview that he possesses “great potential”, whilst Steve Cooper, his former boss at the Liberty Stadium, dubbed him a “pure defender” and a “real asset.”
Similarly, Lilywhites legend Graham Roberts told supporters on Twitter that the Welshman has “huge potential.”
Despite hardly featuring for the club this term, Rodon was one of the more productive defensive options, registering a squad-high 1.8 interceptions per game whilst also recording the highest passing success rate (88.1%) of anyone at Spurs except Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, via WhoScored.
By unleashing the 23-year-old colossus, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy could save millions in the transfer window this summer. While Rodon is certainly in need of a viable partner in the middle, an increased show of faith in him could save Spurs the need for multiple additions.