With the European Championships well under way, Tottenham Hotspur have been well represented, aside from the surprise exclusion of Mousa Dembele in last night’s shock 2-0 defeat for the Belgian national side against Italy.
Today is the turn of Austrian centre-back, Kevin Wimmer. Irrespective of today’s starting XI, I want to look into why Kevin Wimmer isn’t one of the first names on the team sheet for both club and country. Many fans of Spurs will be questioning why he is not being advertised as a potentially top drawer centre back. Having looked into the Austrian central defensive options for manager Marcel Koller, they have powerful central defender Aleksandar Dragovic, who plays for Dynamo Kiev. Alongside him, the manager tends to play Florian Klein, a relatively experienced, but average centre back.
Long-standing manager Koller has gone through qualifying with a relatively settled back four, which includes his captain Christian Fuchs, which shows how the manager may well prefer a more traditional, no-nonsense defender, unlike the ball playing modern centre-back, Wimmer. In addition, David Alaba, who often plays as an attacking full back for FC Bayern, is pushed into midfield, obviously due to his quality but I also believe it is because he is a more risky, ball playing defender, like his compatriot Wimmer. The current Austrian manager is preventing Kevin Wimmer from making more than the handful of international appearances due to his seemingly cautious approach.
Moving onto his club performances, the young Austrian seamlessly slotted into the Tottenham back line next to Toby Alderweireld, whilst filling in for Alderweireld’s compatriot, Jan Vertonghen. With stellar performances against Arsenal and Manchester City, among others it was a common thought among fans that Wimmer should not have been dropped when Vertonghen had got back to full fitness. With the downturn in form blamed almost entirely on the lack of Mousa Dembele, and Dele Alli, I believe the blame can also be turned on Vertonghen who didn’t perform, along with Toby as well as they had earlier in the season. Does Potchettino have favourites, or is it just a long term plan with Wimmer? With Jan Vertonghen having turned 29 back in April, is it not time Mauricio Pocchetino looks to his athletic ‘back-up’ defender, Kevin Wimmer to start pairing up with Alderwiereld in the first team?
With a rapidly changing and growing Premier League to look forward to in August, the current Euro’s could be more important than ever, and with ex-players like Vlad Chiriches captaining his nation Romania, I’d like to believe Kevin Wimmer, who has already shown far more quality than a plethora of other Spurs defensive signings, can’t be far away from his big break in both international and club football.
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