In Focus: Tottenham move could work for Chris Smalling and Spurs

According to reports in the Mail on Sunday, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is considering making a move for Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling after missing out on Hull City’s Harry Maguire, with the Red Devils star likely to be available for around £15m, according to The Telegraph.

What’s the word, then?

Well, the Mail on Sunday says that the Spurs boss is looking for a central defender to bring complement and provide competition for first choice pairing Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld next season as he looks to compete for the Premier League title again and cope with the rigours of a Champions League campaign., and he had been looking to sign Maguire.

He had been hoping to sign Maguire, however the 24-year-old opted for a £17m move to Leicester City as he felt there was more chance of being a regular in the starting line-up at the King Power Stadium.

Now Pochettino has turned his attentions to Smalling, who will be allowed to leave the Red Devils this summer following the £31m arrival of Victor Lindelof from Benfica.

How did Smalling do last season?

The 27-year-old would have had high hopes heading into the campaign after winning the Players’ Player of the Year award in the 2015/16 campaign, but it proved to be a frustrating campaign under Jose Mourinho for the centre-back.

The England international missed 21 matches because of foot and knee injuries respectively, and Mourinho questioned his mental strength as he failed to play through the pain barrier when the Portuguese boss had few other options at the heart of his defence.

In all, he made 36 appearances in all competitions.

Would he be a good signing for Tottenham?

He probably would be, yes.

While he may not have had a good season last time out, in the previous year he was excellent under Louis van Gaal and had established himself as one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.

At 27 years of age, he should now be entering the prime years of his career and while it would be difficult to see him breaking past the duo of Alderweireld and Vertonghen if Spurs are playing four at the back, he could certainly do a job alongside the Belgians in a three-man defence – something seen regularly at the end of last season.