One of our ‘problem positions’ for a fair while now has been at right wing. Throughout the last few seasons, countless players have been chopped and changed into the role with none seemingly nailing down a firm place in the starting XI.
With Gareth Bale’s loan move coming to an end (although rumour of a possible extension is rife at the moment, and I for one would be pleased to see him back next season,) we have to look ahead and wonder who will play in his position next year.
Firstly, it has to be said that even if we keep Gareth Bale, it is virtually impossible that we will utilise him in the majority of games in the season.
We have seen this season that he is very rarely able to complete a full 90 minutes, meaning one of the three aforementioned candidates will be making regular cameos off the bench at least.
In terms of starting, let’s take a deeper look at the three players in [email protected]
The first, and most likely option is Lucas Moura. Our number 27 has been utilised more than almost anybody else this season, appearing in 48 of the 53 games the Lilywhites have played up to this point in the season.
He is very much an impact substitute, used off the bench in exactly half of his Premier League appearances this season, and is as energetic a player you could ever wish for.
Unfortunately, Lucas isn’t a prolific goalscorer, only managing 9 goals this season, with only 4 of those coming in the Premier League.
What he lacks in goal scoring though, he more than makes up for when our game plan is to sit back and defend and is arguably the best presser at the club.
In my opinion, Lucas is best used as an impact substitute more often than not, but starts games against the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea for me.
Our next option, Erik Lamela is one of the more experienced players at the club, making a total 256 appearances for Spurs. He absolutely bleeds Tottenham, and can never be accused of not playing for the badge.
He too though is far from a prolific goalscorer, only providing one Premier League goal this season, although it was a rather memorable one!
Lamela is also a little rash at times, sometimes letting his emotions get the best of him, as evidenced by his 4 yellows and 1 red card this season; a fact a little more concerning when you consider he has only played 680 Premier League minutes.
With all that said, Erik only has one season left on his contract with the club, and with select rumours about his future banding around, perhaps now would be the time to cash in on him, and out the funds towards a quality centre-half.
Finally, Steven Bergwijn. It seems like forever since he blasted a debut goal against Man City last February, and it’s fair to say that Bergwijn hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since.
He has made just five more appearances in this Premier League season than he did in the second half of last season, 19 to last seasons 14.
He has also failed to score at all this season, registering not a single goal in 30 appearances in all competitions.
With that said, Bergwijn is still only 23, and perhaps with more time and faith in him, we will start to see flashes of the player that scored 31 goals in 149 appearances for PSV Eindhoven.
I think he is certainly worth a shot and would be my preferred choice next season.
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