Opinion: Six players Tottenham should sell before the transfer deadline

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Daniel Levy
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Despite defeating Manchester City on Sunday to kick off their Premier League season, Tottenham still has plenty of work to do as they look to shape up their roster prior to the Premier League transfer deadline.

Although the 1-0 home victory against last year’s Premier League Champions was telling about Tottenham’s strengths (and with their weaknesses), Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy still have their hands full as they attempt to revamp the squad that looks to be very competitive for a spot at the top of the table. 

Thus far, in the transfer window, the club has been more active in the “buying” market and has not been as active in selling players that don’t fit in with the future of the club and under new manager Nuno Espirito Santo’s agenda.

After selling Juan Foyth to Villareal (a loan deal with an obligation to buy from last year that was expected to go through), the only other players that Tottenham has sold were back-up goalkeeper Joe Hart for about £1 million (Transfermarkt) and former starting centre back Toby Alderweireld for about £4.25 million ( Jonathan Veal)

However, below are six players that Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy should look to sell as they are deadwood on this Spurs roster and don’t fit with the timeline of this team’s future.

It is critical that these players are sold as deadwood not only to take up team wages but prevent the growth of younger players who would look to take their places. It would be advantageous for Tottenham to recoup transfer fees by selling these players and reinvest the money gained on players that would be beneficial for the squad.

1. Serge Aurier

Aurier’s desire to leave the club has been known for a while. Following his £23 million transfer from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017 (BBC), Aurier has played a key role on this Tottenham side, taking part in some of the club’s biggest games over the past 5 years.

However, despite the flashes that he shows, Aurier is very inconsistent, committing mental errors and penalties that usually cost Tottenham a positive result during a game. Despite his significant uptick in performance under Mourinho in the 2020/21 season, Aurier’s desire for a change in scenery makes him a prime candidate to sell for Paratici and Co. 

2. Moussa Sissoko

An ageing Sissoko has quickly fallen out of favour out of recent Tottenham lineups. After starting 27 and 28 Premier League games in the 2018/19 and 2019/20 season, respectively, Sissoko only started 15 games in the Premier League last season and did not tack on an assist or goal during last year’s Premier League campaign (TransferMarkt).

His decline in playing time over the past year could be attributed to positive performances by midfielders Giovani Lo Celso, Pierre Emille-Hojberg, and Tanguy Ndombele. The overall talent at the midfield position has made Sissoko an expendable piece in this squad. 

3. Ben Davies

Davies is yet another player that was a key part of the high-performing Tottenham squad that went 2nd and 3rd in the Premier League table several years ago (FB Ref). As Levy and Paratici look to bring in a new culture and fresh players into the squad, Davies looks to be a prime candidate that Paratici should aim to sell.

Only 28-years-old, the Welsh international’s spot at Tottenham seems to be overshadowed by newcomer Sergio Reguillon and young phenom Ryan Sessegnon. His spot on the squad would only hinder the growth of both of these players and paying his wages to ride the bench would be a waste of money.

4. Harry Winks

Harry Winks has been the cause of many Tottenham Hotspur fans’ frustration in recent seasons. The former midfielder is known for his bland and lacklustre performances. Failing to inspire attacking plays and his inability to cover defensively, many fans have called for his transfer as many believe that he no longer has a place in this squad.

Only scoring twice and assisting twice in his 109 appearances for Spurs has been indicative of his lack of value to this team (FB Ref). With a plethora of midfielders on the roster, Winks is another prime candidate of deadwood that should be sold this summer.  

5. Davinson Sanchez

As the former club-record signing in 2017, when he joined Tottenham from Ajax for £42 million from Ajax, Davinson Sanchez has significantly underperformed in the past couple of seasons (BBC Sport).

The mental mistakes that he makes on the pitch have been costly for the Hotspur as he often makes mistimed clearances or commits aggressive penalties in the penalty box.

Although, when not making these mistakes, Sanchez can perform exceptionally while playing defence. However, these inconsistencies led to Tottenham being one of the worst defensive clubs last season.

This should not be tolerated as Tottenham look to have a complete makeover at the centre back position, as indicated by the addition of Cristian Romero at the centre back position.

However, at only 24 years old and on the heels of a sensational performance at the Copa America 2021 (while representing Colombia), Sanchez is still very raw and still an intriguing prospect. Sanchez is easily the most marketable player out of the players on this list and should lead to the biggest haul in terms of transfer fees. 

6. Eric Dier

In addition to Sanchez, Dier should also be another candidate that Tottenham should look to unload. Partnering with Sanchez over the last couple of seasons, Dier receives equal, if not more, criticism from fans for poor defensive performances.

Three years removed from his stint for the Three Lions at the World Cup, Dier’s recent play is nowhere near his top form from several years ago (FB Ref).

Dier has seen a fall in his stature from a team leader to a team liability in the past three years. Although he was a Mourinho favourite, Dier has been criticized for his many mistakes as being sloppy with the ball (along with poor passes) and failure to adequately defend, leaving too many holes in the defence and allowing for easy offensive scores. 

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