Opinion: Five Spurs players who are currently in make or break seasons under Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Spurs are making strides in the Premier League and with Jose Mourinho cementing his first-team squad there are some players who may not make it through the Special One’s reign. Ryan Sessegnon, Davinson Sanchez and even Steven Bergwijn raise eyebrows but we take a look at the five players who are in the midst of a make or break season. 

Dele Alli

It is pretty apparent that Dele is out of favour under Mourinho. Despite a promising start to life under Jose, sparking a temporary rekindling of his form, it was unfortunately short-lived and Mourinho’s patience seems to have run out.

His omission from matchday squads is now a formality rather than a shock and when he has featured he has often been hooked at half time. There is no denying Dele’s ability and talent but he is light years away from the player Spurs fans once knew and loved.

A move elsewhere might give him the time and energy needed to find his feet once again and for me, a move abroad would be the perfect option.

Mourinho has made it clear he only wants players who will go through the fire for him and it seems Dele isn’t up to the task. Although there have been players who have come in from the cold under Jose, it just looks a little too late for Dele.

Harry Winks

One of our own but Winks divides opinion amongst fans. There is no denying his love for the club and he does have talent but is it enough to take Spurs to where they are pushing to be?

Under Pochettino, Winks’ development seemed to go from strength to strength, especially whilst playing alongside the wonderful Mousa Dembele, but he has stalled in the last 18 months since both departures. He had been a first-team regular until this season where Jose now prefers to use the England midfielder for Europa league games instead.

With Jose’s preferring Ndombele, Hojberg and tinkering between Sissoko and Lo Celso, Winks is in danger of falling further down the pecking order. With the Euros this summer he will want to guarantee his spot on the plane by playing first-team regular football.

Should another team come in for him again, Winks may rethink his decision to stay loyal at the club he loves for more game time elsewhere and Jose may now be on board with letting him go.

Jack Clarke

In all honesty, we don’t know too much about Jack Clarke other than he signed for Spurs after a great season at Leeds and was sent back on loan immediately for further development.

However, the loan spell back to his former club only resulted in frustration before heading to QPR for the second half of last season.

Spurs have an abundance of star wingers in Heung min Son, Lucas Moura, Steven Bergwijn and Erik Lamela so, for Jack Clarke, it’s a tough ask to break into the first team. Mourinho tends to like reliability in his squad and putting trust in an unproven youngster is unlikely in the Premier League.

On the plus side for Clarke, he has time on his side, as he has just turned 20. In a long season in which teams will need every player at their disposal, we will likely see more of him during the cup runs as the season draws on.

Whether Jose will see fit to keep him past next summer is a question mark but he’ll hope to have been given a fair crack before any decision is made.

Gedson Fernandes

Gedson who? Indeed we have to remind ourselves of Jose’s first Spurs signing, the 21-year-old from Benfica.

An 18-month loan with an option to buy was agreed last January for a midfielder who has barely featured.

His most memorable moment was missing a penalty against Norwich in the FA Cup and it’s likely his loan will be cut short and be sent back to Benfica with no way in sight of him getting into the squad, let alone the first team.

Paulo Gazzaniga

The Argentine is not in Jose’s plans especially since the arrival of Joe Hart during the summer window.

Gazzaniga is a decent keeper but has spent his career mainly as a second or third choice. At 28 years old he needs to be playing as a number one or at least pushing for that spot and at Tottenham, that possibility has now slipped away.

Come January, it’s unlikely Gazzaniga will be happy to keep twiddling his thumbs and will surely be forcing his desires to move on with no objection from Mourinho.

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  1. It’s a make or break season for Dele, Winks, Sanchez and Aurier. It’s certainly not a make or break season for Jack Clarke. As for Gedson, he is manifestly not in Jose’s plans and neither is Gazzaniga. So far Aurier has done very well, include a top performance against Man City, but Sanchez has been dreadful and Winks little more than his usually average self and clearly not Jose’e first choice. Dele will likely get chances at redemption, but of those first 4, only Serge Aurier right now is making a standout case for being indispensable to the squad.

  2. A year ago I could not wait to see the back of Aurier, but he is definitely the one stand out player who has improved the most. I don’t know enough about Jack Clarke, but the others will probably all be gone in January. The only exception will probably be Winks as I think he’ll get plenty of minutes in the cup games.


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