Premier League

Forget Alli, losing this £45m-rated ace would be a much bigger blow to Tottenham

Tottenham supporters have been in high spirits in the Transfer Tavern in recent times given their side’s decent run of form, which has seen them climb up to third in the Premier League table, and reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men won their last two games prior to this fortnight’s international break, the first of which was a sensational 3-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid at Wembley, a result which booked their place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2011. And they backed that midweek success up with a much-needed 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, with Son Heung-min’s excellent second half strike enough to secure all three points for Spurs, who in turn moved level on points with second place Manchester United in the Premier League table.

Thus, there have been many satisfied Tottenham fans in the Tavern this week toasting their side’s crucial victories before the two-week break for internationals, and as such many are already turning their attentions to the North London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

In the meantime though, there is plenty for those Spurs supporters lining up at the bar to get their teeth into, not least a recent report from Don Balon which suggests that Barcelona ace Lionel Messi wants Dele Alli at the Nou Camp.

The 21-year-old has scored 39 goals and laid on 25 assists in just 109 matches for Spurs since moving there back in the winter of 2015, and as such has alerted several of Europe’s top sides after several impressive performances on both the domestic and European stage.

And Messi reportedly wants Barca to make a move for the England international ahead of rivals Real Madrid, who are also thought to be interested, in a move which could seriously dent Tottenham’s silverware chances.

However, although losing Alli to Barcelona would be a huge loss, it is Christian Eriksen, also linked with a move to the Nou Camp, who Spurs simply cannot afford to let go in the coming transfer windows, as the Dane is the man that makes Pochettino’s side tick.

The 25-year-old made the move to Tottenham back in 2013 and has been a vital member of the squad in the last four years, and with three goals, two assists, and 24 chances created already this season (all of which are more than Alli), the Denmark international continues to propel himself to the top of Spurs’ most influential players’ list.

But it was last season which really showed Eriksen to more integral than his English teammate.

Last term, Eriksen created a staggering 111 chances in 36 Premier League appearances, which was significantly more than the next best Alli (51), and then Son Heung-min in third (44) – it equates to three chances created per match.

And with 15 assists, these are genuine goal-scoring chances that the 25-year-old is creating, underlining that it is he who is pulling the strings in the Spurs midfield, providing a platform for the likes of Alli, Son, and Harry Kane, all of which scored more than Eriksen last term, to go on and get the goals for Pochettino’s side.

So while Spurs would obviously be weakened should Alli make the move to Barcelona, his departure wouldn’t be felt as greatly as if Eriksen also left the club, as they would lose their midfield orchestrator, the man that makes them tick in the middle of the park.

Alli is quality and certainly destined for big things, but Spurs need Eriksen more than the Englishman, and as such they simply cannot afford to let the £45 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) go if they are serious about competing with Europe’s elite over the coming years.

(Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com and squawka.com)

Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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