The pressure is mounting at Tottenham Hotspur, according to emerging reports.
According to the Telegraph’s Matt Law, Spurs will target RB Leipzig gem Julian Nagelsmann to replace Jose Mourinho if the Portuguese boss cannot alleviate the club’s recent run of disappointing results.
He claims that this next 12-day period could prove crucial in the 58-year-old’s future, though this is somewhat hard to believe given the north London outfit have a genuine chance of clinching their first piece of silverware since 2008 with the Carabao Cup final on the horizon.
They also remain in contention to qualify for Europe once again and have the Europa League knockout stages to contend with too.
Six defeats in eight matches is cause for concern, though, but much of the fault should lie with the players rather than the manager – none more so than this trio, who’ll all need to quickly buck up their ideas ahead of a telling summer transfer window…
Current Value: €30m (£25m), via CIES
A lot of Spurs’ problems have been lingering ever since Mourinho first took over from Mauricio Pochettino in December 2019.
Indeed, the Lilywhites had the second-worst defensive record of any top seven team last term. Yet, the only solution offered to the ‘Special One’ was an inexperienced option in Joe Rodon from Championship side Swansea City.
Part of that leaky defence was Eric Dier, so it’s no surprise to see the same issues crop up as he’s still one of Mourinho’s trusted generals.
The 27-year-old midfielder-turned-defender has started 21 matches in the Premier League this term, including four of their last five top-flight defeats. In fact, their last win (against West Brom) saw the England international named on the bench – go figure.
Dier’s main concern is his positioning as he’s often either left for dead, caught napping or not marking his opposite number, thus leading to numerous mistakes and silly goals to concede.
The 6 foot 2 star gave away a clumsy penalty against Chelsea and was completely out of position for one of West Ham’s goals at the weekend in just two of many examples this season alone.
Former Spurs midfielder, now talkSPORT pundit, urged the club to get rid of him this week and whilst that seems unlikely given Mourinho’s faith in him, his role – in the long run – is by no means certain.
It’s thought that Mourinho would like a ‘transformative’ centre-back signing to change their fortunes, and they’ve been linked to plenty ahead of the summer window, including Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.
Dier must sort out his form before then, otherwise, it is he who is most at risk of losing his place next campaign.
Current Value: €40m (£35m), via CIES
Another defender who should be feeling Mourinho’s wrath in the coming months is summer arrival, Matt Doherty.
The Irishman has practically been usurped by the often calamitous Serge Aurier, the very player he was brought in to succeed – or to at least arrest the right-sided problems.
Instead, he’s started only nine Premier League matches, and in the absence of the Ivorian, young academy hopeful Japhet Tanganga has often been preferred.
And now, according to ESPN senior writer James Olley, the 29-year-old’s future is rather uncertain as Mourinho has doubts over his ability to be a success in N17.
This hardly comes as a surprise as his role at Molineux was vastly different from what is required under the Portuguese – going from a back five as a wing-back to a flat back-four with more defensive duties was never going to be easy.
As David Connolly told RTE, “I don’t think he’s suited there [at Spurs].”
Current Value: €30m (£25m), via CIES
Last season it was Tanguy Ndombele. This season it is Dele Alli.
The 24-year-old, who is out of England reckoning ahead of the Euros, has barely featured for Mourinho this term and very nearly swapped London for Paris when his former boss came calling.
Although, chairman Daniel Levy appeared to be vehemently against selling the attacking midfielder.
Indeed, Alli has been restricted to 632 minutes in all competitions and only one start in the Premier League, via Transfermarkt.
His recent cameo appearances from the bench against City and West Ham have done little to warrant a start in the squad despite wide duo Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura fulfilling a no.10 role.
Neither match saw Alli grade above a 6.18 rating as per WhoScored, managing just one tackle and one key pass in 39 minutes of action – that’s hardly going to see Mourinho perform a U-turn on him anytime soon.
If he’s not going to make the desired and much-needed impact in the coming months, then Spurs ought to reconsider PSG’s approach should they still be keen, of course.
All in all, these three Spurs stars must find some form quickly, otherwise their positions and even in some cases, their futures, are in serious jeopardy – especially if Mourinho remains at the helm.
It’s also been claimed that Mourinho will not face the sack this season, so he’s surely likely to remain going into 2021/22.