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Dos Santos – Stick Or Twist?

Tottenham’s Giovani Dos Santos has been linked with a move to Blackburn Rovers, but should he stay or should he go?

Indeed, Big Sam is reportedly interested in the tricky Mexican. If true, Harry Redknapp will have to decide whether it’s time to stick or twist (or, you know, do something in between – i.e. another loan or gradually bring him into the side – but that’s not quite as catchy as the renowned ‘sick or twist’ adage).

Since his arrival in 2008, it has clearly been a stunted start for Giovani at White Hart Lane, and a slightly exasperating one for Tottenham fans. Dripping with promise and potential, Dos Santos has barely featured due to injury, alleged off-field antics, regime changes, formational systems and, simply, not adequately forcing his way into a first-team position.

Consequently, it is difficult to judge his Spurs spell; much of it has been spent on loan, firstly with Ipswich Town and then Turkish giants Galatasaray. The Spurs faithful have shown patience and, given his young age, would perhaps still like another opportunity to ascertain Giovanni’s Premiership potential.

Certainly, his World Cup displays have been decent. Playing in all of Mexico’s matches, he has looked relatively lively, dangerous on the ball and a technically gifted. All of which again point to the suggestion that he should perhaps be given a little more time to mature at Tottenham. Still only 21-years-old – having seemingly been around for ages due to early exaltation and Barcelona fame – he could still improve, prosper and utilise his talent.

However, there are difficulties. His best position is still not clear; with an ability to play as an attacking midfielder, on either wing, or as a forward. Versatility can be a blessing, but it can also lead to issues when trying to establish a firm first-team footing, especially when there are more rounded and established players employed in each role as their distinctive and primary position.

He is not ready for, or yet deserving of, first-team duties at Spurs, particularly after the successful top-four assault and upcoming Champions League campaign; a space in the starting side, and current formation (seemingly ill-fitting for his drifting approach), will be hard to come by. Nonetheless, this also highlights the fact that it will be a busy season for Tottenham; thus his flexibility could be a useful option– as a ‘fill-in’ to begin with.

Whilst he is quick and skilful, his decision making can often let him down – picking the wrong pass, undertaking poor positions. Given his youth, prudent coaching could smooth this out. This ‘decision making’ is clearly referring to on-field issues, but could easily be extended to off-field antics. I don’t want to cast sweeping aspersions on the lad, painting him as some decadent, riotous Keith Richards figure, but it is largely understood his early Spurs days were characterised by a fondness for a tipple and a shindig. But he’s young – the crazy little tinker – and appears to have somewhat banished that.

If his best can be garnered, he could be a useful signing for Blackburn given they follow up the reported interest with something more tangible. Following the last two seasons, the World Cup has probably slightly amplified his transfer valuation. Hence, if Harry wants to cut loose and cash-in, now could be a good time. Nonetheless, you get the feeling one last chance could be granted at Spurs, he could still become a fine player ….or, of course, he could flop. Yet another loan – i.e. to Lancashire – and some Premier League experience could benefit all parties.

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