Date: 18th June 2018 at 8:00pm
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It’s the nature of the summer transfer window that the club will be linked with dozens of players over the space of a few months. 99% of them will turn out to be untrue, and for the most part, it’s difficult to tell who is a genuine target or who is not.

This weekend, we were linked with three different midfielders, in three different countries. There isn’t anything unusual in that per se but it’s telling that all of them play the same role in the team.

We are looking to find the right replacement for Mousa Dembele with it seeming likely that the Belgian will depart this summer. There are undoubted difficulties in replacing such a unique talent. From the looks of it, scouts are looking at players with differing styles to replace our no.19. So who are the latest targets?

Wilmar Barrios

Radio Mitre in Argentina and Antena 2 in Colombia (via Sport Witness) believe we are close to signing the Colombian international. The Independent believe there is genuine interest there but they don’t go as far as saying we’ve made a bid.

Barrios is a genuine midfield destroyer. A Kante style player, he would be very different to Dembele which makes me suspect that he would be coming in to compete with Dier and Wanyama rather than to take up Mousa’s role.

No doubt, Mauricio Pochettino would have had a hand in our pursuit of the Colombian due to the fact he plays his club football for Boca Juniors in Argentina. I will be an interested observer when Colombia face Japan tomorrow.

Tanguy Ndombele

L’Equipe say we are in negotiations to sign the 21-year-old. He is younger than Barrios, but he already has experience of European football with Lyon in the Europa League last season. He also plays further forward than the Colombian, and would likely offer a greater threat going forward.

Like Dembele, he loves to dribble and make forward runs. He was also pretty productive in the final third last campaign with one goal and eight assists in all competitions.

Matias Vecino

Tuttosport believe we are the main suitors for the Inter Milan midfielder. You can see why, his best attributes are breaking up play, holding onto the ball and making forward runs which would tally with our no.19’s main strengths.

The fact that the Nerazzurri are willing to let the Uruguayan go after spending €24m on him last summer, however, suggests a player who is not suited for the top level. Of course, Inter do have a habit of selling players who go on to better things, but at 26 years of age, Vecino should be in his prime. Nothing suggests to me he could make it in the Premier League.

Nobody said it would be easy replacing Mousa, but it does seem from the outside looking in that we are having to trawl the length and breadth of the footballing world in order to find even someone close to what the 30-year-old offers us. Hopefully, by the start of August, we have settled on one suitable replacement.


13 Replies to “Three Midfield Targets But Are Any Ready Made Replacements For Spurs Star?”

  • Wilmar Barrios I tought he was a deal was rapped up a while back l hope he is if the Wanyama rumours are true . ( One team Harry Kane coys )

  • Not sure if Dembele is going this year; but his time is coming – looks like Barrios and N’dombele would be good additions to develop. Remember we still have Wanyama, Winks and Dier.

  • I think Dier and Winks are nailed on to stay. Dembele knows his time in the Premiership is coming towards the end. Wana really struggled with injuries last season.

    I’m not surprised we are being linked with these types of players as we were weak at times last season in the middle of the park.

  • Only 3, if the media is to be believed we are interested in half the MFers in Europe, as usual with us nothing will happen before the last 12 hours of the window, if at all.

  • Barrios as a attacking midfielder team mate as been mentioned as maybe the one getting watched also .i watched him a litttle while back pretty good cant remember name now it’s a while ago . ( otbi ) the Colombian team tomorrow will probably have him and these guys if an athlete like Davinson there could be talent for the spurs . Harry’s signed coys

  • I doubt we could get anyone who played like Dembele, his combination of power and ball control is pretty much unique. Winks has already shown though that you can play that position in a totally different way so there’s no telling who we are really looking at.

  • What’s interesting is no links to Sissoko moving away. He is no longer required further up the pitch as we have 5 very good attacking players behind Kane. That sort of means he needs to compete in the squad as a centre mid. He’s got the engine for it but I don’t like his touch and especially his lack of discipline, often vacating the space and playing up the right wing leaving holes.

    As for Wanyama, it’s got to be questionable whether we’ll ever get a 50 game season out of him again. He’s only managed it once in 5 years leading up to his 27th b’day. I noticed Spurs declined Kenya having access to him in the recent round of friendlies citing he needed rest. That made me think that Poch might be giving him another chance to get fully fit and back to his destructive best.

    With Dembele, it’s binary. He’ll either sign a contact extension or he’ll move on. That’s a tough one to call.

  • muttley – Sissoko wasn’t so much competing for Dembele’s slot last season as getting it by default as we had no other options with Winks injured and Dembele not able to play every game. It worries me we seem to be connected with so many attacking midfield players when we already have plenty of options in that area. Dembele’s position and maybe Wanyama’s if the injury stories are true, are much more critical.

  • Sissoko made a lot of appearances last season and in spite of all his criticism, wasn’t ever really seen by me as detrimental to any of our performances, in general, as a team. And, as one of our more senior and experienced players, proved to be very handy to call on in reserve and, to a lesser extent, as a starter.

    He was a utility midfielder if you like. He did play the more advanced of the 2 man pivot, more often than not and, for Dembele. Either as a starter, with Mousa on the bench or vice versa… But, he was also used in place of Dier as the more deeper defensive one, quite a few times. Either replacing Eric late on in matches or when Eric moved back into a centre back role. Which Dier himself did a fair bit.

    Against Real at home is an example I clearly remember, as it was (quite crucially) when Toby got injured.

    Dier stepped back into Toby’s position and Sissoko subbed Toby to play in ED’s defensive midfielder role. He was very effective. And, this happened quite a few times.

    He also played just a couple of times from the right in an attacking mid role.

    All in all, (with 47 total appearances), Sissoko played quite a big part for Spurs last season and for me, he played it well enough…

  • HT…have to agree with you there, about your comments regards Sissoko, I think he largely goes unnoticed with some of the good he does, but a bit of poor ball control, a poor pass etc all hell lets loose, he to me is a typical squad player and I think Poch know’s that also. COYS

  • I can’t see Sissoko going anywhere. He has 3 years left on a 95k a week contract. He is 29 in August. He knows he won’t get that deal anywhere else unless he goes to China.

    Average player.

  • My thoughts on Sissoko have never been on his standing in the world of great footballing talents and world-beaters… I am merely pointing out that he has been a reliable stand in when needed. And last season he was needed a lot. And, he was pretty hard-working, solid, strong and indeed, pretty reliable…

    Us Spurs fans have very high expectations on our players and this often seems to be used detrimentally toward certain players that may not live up to those expectations. Imo, Sissoko has been a worthy, if not spectacular player. And I don’t think he has deserved anywhere near the continuous criticisms and, often, the sheer hatred that has been aimed at him.

    Of course none of this and/or my personal opinion of him will change any of the slurs against him. But I for one, will not be at all upset if he stays.

    If he does stay, he may well prove to be needed just as much as he was last season and, quite possibly, be even more useful and effective to the squad and team.

    He may not be world class but, in my book, he’s not considered to be average…

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