Stay or go? The players which should remain at Spurs next season


In the bitterly disappointing wake of the FA Cup exit at the hands of Manchester United, I thought it would be important to look forward to the summer and evaluate every player in the Spurs squad. With 4 league games left to go to try and secure Champions Leaguequalification, we desperately need to avoid a downward spiral but after another season without a trophy, it is beginning to become more vital to trim the fat and develop a ruthless mentality in order to try and bring home some silverware. Poch has shown the capabilities to be ruthless in the past with his treatment of players so here are assessments of each player in the squad, asking the questions whether they deserve to stay next season and whether they will or won’t stay for next season’s campaign. (in my own opinion) NOTE: This isn’t including players out on loan this season.


Hugo Lloris

Undoubtedly our captain and number one goalkeeper still remains one of the best in the league at what he does. There seems to be a general consensus that Hugo may have saved the Ander Herrera shot that Michel Vorm allowed to go under him and he is greatly adored by Spurs fans. He can occasionally leave Spurs fans with hearts in their mouths with his sweeper keeper style and questionable kicking but the case could easily be made that he is the best Tottenham keeper of the Premier League era. Currently 31, which is nothing for a goalkeeper, Hugo should still have a few more years at the top level at least.

Hugo enjoys a superb relationship with Mauricio Pochettino so I don’t see him departing as long as the Argentine remains in charge. Will be as disappointed as anyone not to have secured silverware yet but Hugo always seems committed to the cause and it would be a shock to see him depart this summer if we secure Champions League qualification.

Michel Vorm 

The last few years have been very generous in terms of goalkeeping quality for Spurs fans, as Michel has always provided a solid and professional deputy in place of Hugo whenever he is called upon. However, he has been criticised for his performance in the FA Cup Semi Final and it would have been interesting to see if Poch had kept faith in him for the final, had we defeated United, especially since he dropped him for the Capital One Cup Final against Chelsea in the past. Will be 35 next season so age could be catching up with him.

The addition of Paolo Gazzaniga last summer gives the impression that Poch is looking for some younger blood to challenge Hugo for the number one jersey so I think Michel’s time in North London might be coming to an end after 4 seasons with the club.

Paolo Gazzaniga 

Only 1 appearance isn’t exactly the best criteria to accurately judge a player’s performance but, in fairness to Paolo, it wasn’t a bad one. He was superb in the 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace, making several key saves. Not sure he’ll ever become a number one but looks to have the potential to be a solid backup, with the additional advantage of being 8 years younger than Michel Vorm.

Only signed last summer and impressed in his one performance, which actually begs the question why he wasn’t trusted in other cup games. Hard to see both him and Vorm staying but Gazzaniga undoubtedly has the edge.


Serge Aurier 

Don’t get me wrong, Serge is an infuriating player. He is incredibly rash and can make some reckless challenges in stupid areas, e.g. his own penalty box. Giving away 3 penalties (so far) in his first season already has fans split about his long-term future. However, I have confidence that Poch will be able to stem some of the recklessness in Serge’s game and turn him into a more polished player, much like he was able to do with Kyle Walker. When Serge is on form, he looks threatening and is impressively confident on the ball, needs to improve his final ball when attacking though as this lets him down far too often.

Another player only signed last summer so he will receive the benefit of the doubt this summer but he really needs to get a handle on the more rash elements of his play or his Spurs career will be much shorter than anticipated.

Kieran Trippier 

A player who is finally starting to get the recognition his play deserves. Not as electric as Walker or as extravagant as Aurier but provides a level of consistency that has to be admired. Has drawn praise from all quarters for his excellent delivery when attacking, which has catapulted him into a probable place in England’s World Cup squad this summer. Considering we only signed him for a reported £3.5m a few summers ago, has to be one of the bargains of the decade.

Has built on the sporadic but impressive appearances he made last season and would win the majority of fans votes to be the starting Right Back over Aurier. He isn’t afraid of a battle and this benefits Spurs as he keeps improving as a player and is beating out those with higher reputations due to his performances.

Kyle Walker-Peters 

Made an immediate impression in the opening game of the season against Newcastle, winning the MOTM award for his performance. Faded back into the shadows due to the return of Trippier and the purchase of Aurier but looks destined for a big future. Was delighted to see him score in the FA Cup against Rochdale as well.

This is a difficult one as it really depends on Walker-Peters himself. Spurs are covered pretty well at RB with Aurier and Trippier so a loan might be the best thing for his development, as it did with Walker and Rose in the past. A loan to a mid to low table PL side where he will be given the opportunity to play seems like the best option for the 2018/19 season.

Toby Alderweireld 

Would still get my vote for the best centre-half in the league on his day. His impact on the side since joining in 2015 has been incalculable as he has brought an elevated sense of defending to the club which has benefitted the entire team and brought out the best in those around him (Jan). Has been a troubled season considering the injuries and the exit talks but you’d be hard-pushed to find a Spurs fan who would want him gone, even though he hits 30 next season.

Unfortunately, it seems like a pretty foregone conclusion that Toby won’t be a Spurs player next season. Talks of a 5-year contract for a player turning 30 next season, coupled with a substantial pay rise is a calculation that simply does not compute in the mind of Daniel Levy. I hope that I’m wrong but I can’t see Toby turning out in the new stadium next year, which is a pretty dispiriting thought.

Juan Foyth 

Even though I’ve graded the likes of Gazzaniga and Walker-Peters as YES despite a lack of performances, I can’t say I’m as confident about Foyth given the times I’ve seen him playing. The aforementioned duo both had a performance that was impressive enough to be more definitive, although its far too premature to say they’ll be good enough. Foyth looked a little weak at times in games but he is so young and needs to fully develop to be able to cope with the physical demands of English football.

It depends on what happens with other players (Toby leaving, Dier reverting to a CB, returning CCV etc.) but I feel a loan to the Championship would be the best thing for Foyth’s development. He needs to take the hard knocks and be able to grow stronger from it so sending him to the more rough and tumble style of the Championship would do him wonders in the long-term.

Davinson Sanchez 

I was a fan of the Colombian when I saw him turn out for Ajax last year but he’s swept me away with some of his performances this season. I used Foyth’s age as an excuse but Sanchez is only one year older (21 to 20) yet he’s slotted in the side with remarkable ease. He is physically dominating and shows the ability to put his foot on the ball and play out with it as well. He does look a little rough round the edges at times but honestly I don’t think he could’ve had a better start to life in England.

Unless Daniel Levy gets an offer exceeding £100m, the Colombian isn’t going anywhere for a while. Even if he hadn’t played well this season, he was still only bought last summer for a club record fee so he would’ve been given at least another season regardless. At the moment, it looks like money well spent, which may also have the dual effect of encouraging Levy that paying bigger bucks for premium talent can be extremely beneficial. Win-Win.

Jan Vertonghen 

Coming off a season where he has been nominated into the PFA Team of the Season, you’d have to find a madman that wouldn’t argue Super Jan’s case. Has stepped up to the plate considering Toby’s injuries this season and has looked more assured and confident this season than in any other. Should be in firm contention for our Player of the Year voting.

I wouldn’t be surprised to hear talk of offers being made (Barcelona have previously been linked in the past) but I don’t think Jan will go anywhere, given his status as a fan favourite. However, he turns 31 in a few days and might be tempted for one last crack at a major trophy if a European powerhouse made him an offer, given the lack of silverware he has earned with Spurs thus far.

Ben Davies 

The man I consider the unsung hero of the team. Has capitalised on Rose’s injuries and drama regarding his future to secure the Left Back position permanently. Gives the impression that he works hard and would be reluctant to provide any controversy. He is a solid presence on the left, lacks the speed of Rose but has above average crossing ability, and has weighed in when attacking. Still underrated by most football fans.

Has grown in importance with the team and given the likely exit of Rose this summer, he is probably one of the least likely candidates to depart the club. Will be interesting to see what the club does regarding the position if they feel he needs competition.

Danny Rose 

This is nothing against Rose but I feel like his comments at the start of the season effectively ended his Spurs career. The club needs to be ruthless and it is clear Poch has a ruthless streak if he is crossed. Whilst I admire the candidness in an era where players are programming to be as robotic as possible, it feels like a clean break is needed for both sides. Rose was excellent last season but has been injury-plagued this campaign and tensions have been widely reported between him and Poch. When that happens, there is only ever one winner.

Despite being injured then benched for most of the season, Spurs should still be able to make good money out of a transfer. The likelihood is Rose will return north, most likely to Man Utd. A trade for Luke Shaw has been mooted which is an interesting proposition.


Mousa Dembele 

Still a Rolls-Royce in the middle of the park when he is on song. Honestly, he would make my top 5 favourite Spurs players in the last 15 years for his composure on the ball and watching him turn and power through is a work of art. There are injury concerns, with Mousa admittedly he is never quite 100% fit and this may influence the club to move towards a younger option but watching Mousa run games this season has been a joy to behold. When he’s not there, we look weaker.

The injuries, coupled with age (turns 31 this summer) means that rumours have floated that Spurs may part ways with the talented Belgian in the summer transfer window. He may be tempted to earn one last big payday in China or elsewhere but I feel Spurs could still get another season or two with the Belgian’s brilliance lighting up the new stadium, although I will admit that I am very biased in Mousa’s favour.

Eric Dier 

After a couple of impressive campaigns, it feels like Eric has almost regressed this season. It seems incredibly difficult to find a place for him in the team, as fans remember Wanyama’s brilliance in Dier’s preferred DM role last season and the impressive partnership of Sanchez and Vertonghen this season. He feels like a ‘tweener’, a player stuck between two roles and therefore it is difficult to define his position (I almost put him in the defender category) As a player, he strongly reminds me of Michael Carrick. A good passer that will never stand out as a star name but has bags of talent and can perform consistently every week.

This came as a surprise to myself when I started thinking about it, but I began to realise there is definitely a chance that Eric may not be at Spurs next season. He knows that his role as either a CB or DM is highly contested and the indecision regarding his position may push him out of the door. I know a lot of clubs would be interested and if he goes to the World Cup and performs strongly, Spurs may receive an agreeable bid and feel they are well stocked enough to let Eric go.

Moussa Sissoko 

Honestly, I’ve tried. I’ve tried and tried. I’ve REALLY tried to support Sissoko (as have most Spurs fans) but the time has come to cut ties and let the Frenchman leave the club and never return. He is simply not good enough. Sometimes I’ve even questioned whether he is even Premier League standard, let alone Champions League. His touch is woeful, passing is poor and shooting….less said, the better. There are plenty of talented players about that would provide more, for less money.

Let’s be honest. We didn’t buy Sissoko on the back of his form with Newcastle (which should have been an indication by the way) He was bought on the back of a surprisingly effective Euro 2016 campaign where he looked menacing for the French team on their path to the final. We were suckered in. Shame there isn’t a major tournament this summer….oh wait. That’s our best hope for a suitor. That Sissoko somehow makes the France squad and showcases ability at the WC that persuades some poor team to part with their cash to land him. Then we can celebrate the way Newcastle fans did.

Victor Wanyama 

Hasn’t had the impact he did in his maiden season but still provides raw power and boundless energy when he is let loose in the middle of the park. I’m sure he can return to last season’s levels next season when he is fully fit. And unless something special happens in the last 4 games, he can claim our goal of the season award too with the absolute thunderbolt he smacked in against Liverpool.

Is meant to have an excellent relationship with Poch and his stop-start campaign this season may detract potential suitors for the Kenyan. That works to Tottenham’s benefit as he can rest this summer and come back stronger for next season. He provides the steel to Dembele’s silk.

Harry Winks 

Looked all set to have a major role this season before disaster struck with injury. Always performs well and has a wonderful knack of retaining possession and is blessed with excellent composure. If he could start weighing in more goals and assists, he could develop into one of the best midfielders in the country.

Spurs through and through. Poch loves him and sees him as the future of the Spurs midfield. Could’ve snuck onto the plane for Russia if he had stayed fit. Not going anywhere.

Dele Alli 

It has been well documented that Dele’s performances this season haven’t reached the standards of his previous ones but that simply shows the lofty reputation he has managed to garner at such a young age. Still managed 13 goals and 14 assists over all competitions this season and has developed a big game mentality, the performance in the 3-1 win over Real Madrid still sticks in the mind. However it must be said that his innate goalscoring ability has glossed over some pedestrian games but that is becoming more noticeable as the spotlight shines brighter. Inevitably will be linked with a move away but I believe he should stay and continue developing, it might be a mistake if he goes this early.

The talk of a potential Dele exit has been ongoing for a while now. The media circus around him is ceaseless, with the added catalyst of swapping agents all adding together to create a cacophony of voices announcing his impending release. Personally, I’m uncertain. I know that if we don’t win any trophies, he will leave but I saw his disappointment in the aftermath of the FA Cup loss and I have a feeling he might stay for one more crack at silverware before angling for a departure. He needs to gain a consistency in his performances though because scoring goals, unless you’re at a Cristiano Ronaldo level, won’t be enough at a club like Real Madrid.

Christian Eriksen

Some remarkable performances from the Great Dane this season, he is truly a special talent and is capable of unlocking defences with his pinpoint passing. His crossing delivery from free-kicks has been superb at times though his corner taking ability infuriates me, given his talent from a dead-ball situation. He is incredibly humble and is a firm fan favourite. We need players like him if we ever want to advance to the next level.

There was a worrying article recently where Eriksen’s agent mentioned that he had asked him what he had to do to leave Spurs but I don’t see Christian going anywhere just yet. A big World Cup performance will increase hype but it would have to take a remarkable bid to convince Spurs to part with the Danish playmaker. Don’t see it being this summer but a player of his talents will want trophies sooner or later.

Erik Lamela 

It seems a fitting way to describe Erik’s position, as he is one of those players that polarise opinions between fans. There are those that love him and believe he has the talent and skill to help elevate Spurs to the next level, if he can stay healthy and gain consistency. However, there are many others who believe that his career has been derailed by the sheer number of injury problems he’s suffered and is unable to make the same impact as other members of the squad. I was happy to see Erik return after a troubling hip issue that led to questions whether he could even play again and he’s shown flashes of the quality he clearly possesses but are those moments too few and far between?

I think Poch absolutely loves him, considering his predisposition to often use him as the first substitute on and he’s been given more opportunities than Lucas thus far this season. There are talks of a return to Italy where he excelled with Roma. I think he would be a classic example of ‘What could have been?’ if he did depart Spurs this summer. We’ll always have the rabona if he does.

Son Heung-Min 

Undoubtedly one of the most dangerous players in the league when he is attacking and has become a crucial member of the attacking midfield/forward players that have become a trademark of our game under Poch. His talent and work ethic are above reproach and seems genuinely happy at the club. Burnout is always a possibility and has looked a little off the pace the past few games, which is concerning as he is the centrepiece of South Korean hopes this summer in Russia.

A massive fan favourite and has showed electric form this season. It would be a massive surprise if Sonny left Spurs, even if he has a barnstorming World Cup. Talk of military service is concerning but hopefully there is a way around that as it would be a tragedy to see such a promising career derailed.

Lucas Moura 

I was overjoyed when the news broke back in January but evidently Poch has decided on taking a slow approach with Lucas and breaking him in gently instead of letting him loose immediately. Has the tendency to try and do too much at once but has shown some electric highlights already and will add another element of raw pace to an already promising attack next season when he should make more of an impact on the first team.

Seems enchanted with the club already and looks comfortable to trust Poch’s method of easing him into the transition between Ligue 1 and the Premier League. A combination of Son on one side and Lucas on the other sounds mouthwatering for Spurs fans next season.


Harry Kane 

Was there going to be another answer? Another season spent banging in the goals and chasing the Golden Boot as usual. Proving himself to be more ruthless, people will inevitably mock him for the ghost goal debacle but I love that he’s showing that killer mentality to want every goal possible. Has lost form a little bit recently but I’m sure he’ll be motivated to do everything it takes to make sure we secure that final Champions League spot so he can test himself against the best in the world again next season.

He’s Spurs through and through. People will inevitably link him with a move away the more goals he scores and if we continue to fail to win trophies. Only thing he’ll be focusing on this summer is Russia. He’ll want to get off the mark in the finals and being the skipper will drive him more to prove a point to the rest of the world.

Fernando Llorente 

It’s always going to be difficult playing in the shadow of Harry Kane but Llorente hasn’t shown the killer finishing I was expecting, considering his past successes. He has looked good at times but hasn’t really provided that much of an upgrade on Janssen, which means we need to look for a younger, more ruthless backup to Harry. Personally, I’d love to see us make a play for Callum Wilson from Bournemouth. A lightening quick speedster who has shown good finishing ability that would fit in perfectly to our style of play.

He is well liked and universally respected around the club due to his reputation but he isn’t getting any younger and doesn’t scare teams like he used to. He won’t go down as a huge flop but I’d rather go for someone like Wilson or promote from within, giving younger, hungrier players like Kazaiah Sterling or Reo Griffiths a chance to prove themselves.

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  1. I agree with most of the above, apart from the glaring obvious. Aurier is not, and will never be, a good alternative to Trippier, and he was a hopeless yet very expensive replacement for the world class Walker. Interesting that you decry Sissoko’s talent and say he can’t shoot, pass etc etc., and yet (as much as I agree on the man leaving Spurs this summer) he has a ton more talent than Aurier, who can hardly do anything right. Sissoko’s problem was attitude and a winning mentality, ie difficulty in imposing himself in matches. Aurier’s problem has been that he is simply NOT a PL footballer, and, at nearly 26, highly unlike to rectify that. Both need to go!

  2. I disagree on the Aurier front. Poch was a top class defender in his day and should be able to coach the mistakes out of Aurier. Pace is key in the full back roles, Tripps and Davies (especially) are not quick enough. Aurier and Shaw would be my choices for the Full back roles next season. On the rest of the comings and goings – Sissoko, Lamela, Rose, Vorm, NDouku, Janssen and Llorente to go – £130M for that lot, if someone comes in with a £60M bid for Dier, we need to consider it, however Poch loves his versatility, so he will probably stay.
    In- Zaha, Sessenong, Shaw, Dembele (Celtic) Morrisson, Norwich – £130M

    Keep Toby and Demeble for one last crack at the PL, we can win it with that sqaud

  3. We won’t win anything if we carry players who are liabilities. And we’ve got to stop this obsession with PSG cast-offs. Aurier can run short distances, yes, but so can Usain Bolt. Apart from his reasonable pace, however, that’s it. He gets caught out of position too easily, he goes to ground too easily, he mis-times tackles, he can’t get back quickly when he’s done a foraging run up field, and when he is upfield, he can’t beat his man anyway and get to the byline, and he can’t cross. He doesn’t have a defender’s brain, in that he can’t shepherd opponents away from dangerous situations, or even read them, and he can’t make an incisive pass (even up front, when he’s found a decent position on the right wing, he too often opts for the short easy side or back pass which halts all momentum, not to mention the hopeless crosses). So no, I’m not a fan of his, and I’m not sure what he’s doing at Spurs. Sometimes we have to admit failure in a signing, and Poch for all his efforts in trying to ‘coach all those faults out of him’ probably recognises this. But he’s loyal to all his players, and that’s fair enough. There’s too little loyalty around, but we have to be, as a club, more pragmatic, and rid ourselves of signings (that don’t work) more quickly than we do.

  4. Apart from what you have pointed out above, what else dont you like about him? :) My point is we give him a pre-season, and he he still cant defend then we get rid in Jan. We do need to upgrade our full backs tho, I am all for giving KWP a go, he is a World Cup winner after all.
    On the other side Shaw with a full pre season would be an asset. Sessenoung I see playing further forward, if we also get Zaha, then I see Lamela leaving.

    1st XI for next season – Lloris, KWP, Shaw, Jan, Toby, Dembele, Wanyama, Eriksen, Alli, Zaha, Kane
    2nd XI – Gazzaniga, Tripps, Davies, Forth, CCV, Winks, Dier, Moura, Son, Sessenoung, Demebele

  5. So you would leave Son out of the first eleven?? are you nuts? He was and is one of our best players. Why would you keep Toby, he is not signing a new contract so obviously wants to leave, so let him go, no good keeping a player who does not want to play for you. Tell me what has Zaha done in his career absolutely nothing, and you want him to play in our team!!! Agree Shaw would be a good addition, but needs to be quicker. Aurier is to much of a liability!! Moura has play fantastic the last 2 games he played, and should be in first 11. Trippier should stay as right back, Sesseyoung would be a great addition.


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