Tottenham’s next transfer priority and Joe Rodon’s place in Nuno Espirito Santo’s Spurs plans

Fabio Paratici and Tottenham have just under three weeks to complete any remaining transfer business.

An important summer for the club as they look to rebuild after two poor seasons in the capital, Spurs have already made their mark in the summer window with three new additions and a couple of long-serving players making way.

The arrivals of Pierluigi Gollini, Cristian Romero and Bryan Gil will certainly boost Nuno Espirito Santo’s side over the coming years and more incomings are expected to happen before the end of August.

A new striker is a must regardless of whether or not Harry Kane moves on amid talk of a switch to Man City, while Spurs still need to look at their backline despite Romero’s move from Atalanta.

Glenn Hoddle, speaking exclusively to ahead of the new season, does believe that there is another key area of the pitch that the club also need to look at over the next 18 days.

“They’ve looked to strengthen in defensive areas but I do believe they need a creative midfield player,” said the BT Sport pundit.

“I think they need someone who can play three-touch, see pictures and has a bit of vision to play early.

“I think we have a slight problem at Tottenham in midfield in that we hold onto the ball a bit too long.

“Modern-day football you need to move, shift the ball and have some players that can see pictures and hit front players a little bit quicker.

“I’d like to see, as well as if Harry Kane goes and there needs to be a couple of strikers in there, a creative midfield player as well.

“That’s easier said than done as you can’t just go pick them off trees at the bottom of your garden. Those players are hard to find.”

Tottenham do currently have one player in their squad in Tanguy Ndombele who can make a big impact in the final third, but he has yet to appear for the team in pre-season.

Returning to the club at the start of July for pre-season training as he wasn’t involved at Euro 2020 with France, Ndombele missed out on selection in all five friendlies and Espirito Santo revealed after last Sunday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal that he’s not currently injured but it’s not the right moment for him.

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Tanguy Ndombele has trained with Tottenham in pre-season but didn't appear in any of their summer friendlies
Tanguy Ndombele has trained with Tottenham in pre-season but didn’t appear in any of their summer friendlies

Asked whether the powerful midfielder will still be at the club come September, Hoddle said: “I’m not too sure actually as I don’t know the ins and outs at this moment in time.

“He has his moments as a player and he can put in performances but he lacks that consistency at the moment. He’s only going to get that by playing.

“I’m not too sure on what his best position in midfield is, whether that’s playing him further up the pitch or to play him deeper.

“He’s got talent the boy and if he can knuckle down and get some consistency, real consistency out of him, I think there’s a player in him really waiting to come out.

“At this moment in time it looks like probably that he might be moving on. Again, someone has got to want him for their team and it’s not easy nowadays buying or selling players.”

Ndombele’s absence in pre-season has allowed Dele Alli the chance to feature regularly in a slightly different role in the team.

Previously operating behind Kane in a 4-2-3-1 setup, the 25-year-old is now playing in midfield in a 4-3-3 but he does have licence to push on to form an eye-catching front four when the team are in possession.

Looking more like his old self in pre-season following some big displays, Hoddle believes that Alli can be a “terrific asset” for Espirito Santo providing he can get the very best out of him.

“For me, he’s a box threat and he gets goals and that’s where he’s a major asset,” admitted the 63-year-old.

“I think he’s a wonderful box threat and he can get in and score goals with his head, making runs and it’s a tough thing to do in football score goals from midfield.

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Dele Alli has really caught the eye for Tottenham in pre-season so far
Dele Alli has really caught the eye for Tottenham in pre-season so far

“That’s his major asset and he’s got to get back to playing that way.

“Nuno [Espirito Santo] has got to find the right system that allows him to enter the box, make those runs and have that burning desire to score goals. If he does that then he’ll be a major asset for Tottenham this season.

“At times I think he maybe comes a bit deep and that’s not his style for me. He’s not a playmaker as such but he’s the end of a jigsaw, he’s the end of a move.

“He’s a wonderful finisher and I think if we can get him back to that then that’s going to be a terrific asset and something we’ve missed over the past few seasons from [Dele] Alli.”

Having some big decisions to make in terms of his midfield, Espirito Santo also has a similar problem when it comes to his defence.

Romero will be a guaranteed starter once fit and available but it remains to be seen who will partner him with Joe Rodon, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga all options at present.

Despite fans calling for Rodon to be given a sustained run in the team after such a good Euro 2020 campaign with Wales, Hoddle believes it may be next year when Spurs see the very best of the former Swansea City man.

“He’ll have an opportunity but I’m not sure Nuno will be ready yet to put his hat on him 100 per cent playing in every game. He might have to at this moment in time,” added the former England boss.

“I can see him growing as a player and Rodon, by this time next year, if he gets enough football under his belt will mature, will become accomplished and we might see the best of him next year.

“It’s a work in progress with Rodon. He’s shown potential but at this moment in time it’s a season where he will grow as a player, mature as a player and we’ll see the best of him in the next few years.

“Nuno has got to work that system and work that team right now.”

New Hope. Be part of it all. BT Sport

Source by Football London

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