Throughout AVB’s first season in charge of the Lilywhites he has been forming his opinions on which players are good enough for Tottenham Hotspur and which players will be shown the door at the end of the season. With that in mind, I have comprised what I believe will/should be Spurs’ 25 man Premier League squad next season.
1: Hugo Lloris. Absolutely no doubt here. A great first season at the Lane offers great promise for the future.
2: Brad Friedel. One year left on his contract and absolutely no reason why he can’t complete it. A top goalkeeper who has been reliable when called upon this year.
3: Jordan Archer. Flourishing on loan at Wycombe and definitely a young talent worth nurturing. Probably safer to have 3 goalkeepers in the squad.
4: A new full-back. Alderweireld perhaps? Cissokho. Certainly we need some experience and composure in the full-back positions.
5. Kyle Walker. Definitely worth a place in the squad. One average season doesn’t make you a terrible player; he has had to do a lot of adjusting under AVB.
6: Michael Dawson. Despite being hounded out at the start of the season, he has kept faith and now is leading by example in the centre of defence. A Spurs stalwart who will hopefully see out his career here.
7: Jan Vertonghen. No need to comment here. An obvious choice.
8: Younes Kaboul. Hopefully he recovers well from his injury and returns to the form of last season. A much-improved defender who can fill in at right-back too.
9: Steven Caulker. A mammoth prospect for the future, already a large part in the Tottenham and England set-ups. Only going to improve with regular first-team action.
10: Danny Rose. Playing extremely well at Sunderland, and already has a place in Spurs folklore after THAT goal. A better bet for the future than Naughton/BAE in my humble opinion.
11: Mousa Dembele. Another shoo-in. A composed first season although he is slightly fading out at the moment. The tempo-setter in the Spurs midfield for years to come.
12: Sandro. This injury doesn’t hide the fact that in the games he has played, he has arguably been Spurs’ most consistent player. Still very young, and the potential to be a huge player.
13: Tom Carroll. As seen by cameo roles against Fulham, West Ham and others, this boy could be something special in the future. Too good to loan; worthy of a place on the bench at least.
14: Scott Parker. An extremely useful squad player – nothing more, I don’t think – who loves the club and puts passion, desire and leadership into every performance.
15: Lewis Holtby. A promising start at Spurs although he is yet to find his feet, he will obviously be here next year and can hopefully fulfil his true potential.
16: Gylfi Sigurdsson. Showing us what he can really do in the last couple of months, Gylfi could become one of the best attacking midfielders in the league. Also, good cover on the wings.
17: Aaron Lennon. Slowly becoming a Tottenham legend, he offers great balance and a super outlet on the right flank. Still haven’t lost when he has scored.
18: Gareth Bale. Need I say anything here? If we can keep him, he will be electric next year.
19: Clint Dempsey. I may be a minority, but I firmly believe that the American has a future at Spurs. An excellent squad player who does score important goals and has the experience to contribute on and off the pitch.
20: Emmanuel Adebayor. I think we’re going to have trouble shifting him, and as far as a squad player, I think he can contribute next year. If he gets a good pre-season, he could offer Spurs something. Don’t forget all his goals last year.
21: Jermain Defoe. Another back-up striker for next year I think, who knows where the goal is and can offer us something off the bench.
22: A new striker. Damiao? We are crying out for a 20-goals a season striker, and the young Brazilian could be the answer. AVB clearly wants him; will Levy back him?
23: A new striker. Benteke? We can’t rely on one world-class striker – we need strength in depth (just look at the Manchester clubs). This man has settled into the Premier League beautifully and could score tons with the right service.
24: Christian Ceballos. Anyone who follows our youth team will know that this guy is something special. Watching him reminded me a bit of Juan Mata, relying on skill and trickery to beat opponents. And he comes from Barcelona. So he must be good.
25: Zeki Fryers: Cover at centre-back and left-back, and looking like a good prospect for the future, if used in the right way. Could be worth sending out on loan to the Championship, I reckon, though.
So how would this come together as a team?
Using the new signings I have suggested above in brackets, I think it would look like this (4-3-3):
(Alderweireld) Kaboul Vertonghen Rose
Dembele Sandro Holtby
Lennon (Damiao/Benteke) Bale
Subs: Friedel, Dawson, Caulker, Sigurdsson, Parker, Benteke/Damiao, Defoe
Who would you like to see stay at Spurs next year? Who do you think should be quickly offloaded? And who would you like AVB to sign?