Tottenham supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their team edge bitter rivals Arsenal 1-0 in the North London derby at Wembley on Saturday, thus moving seven points clear of their neighbours in the Premier League table.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their encounter with the Gunners having beaten Manchester United and drawn with Liverpool in their preceding two league games, and unbeaten in their last league games dating back to mid-December. And Spurs made it 13 unbeaten in all competitions on Saturday as Harry Kane’s header four minutes after half time was enough to seal a narrow victory for Pochettino’s side, in turn moving them seven points clear of Arsene Wenger’s team in the race for a top four finish in the Premier League table.
Consequently, there have been many delighted Spurs fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are hoping Saturday’s win can be the catalyst ahead of their trip to Serie A champions Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League on Tuesday night.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Tottenham supporters to discuss, not least recent reports suggesting that centre-back Toby Alderweireld is not set to travel with the squad to Turin this week.
And while much of that is likely down to his ongoing bid to return to full fitness, it has been speculated upon by some in the Tavern that his contract situation may also be a factor in Pochettino’s decision, especially given that the 28-year-old was also omitted from the matchday squad against Arsenal.
As such, Tottenham may be starting to plan for life after Alderweireld, and that should lead them towards Leicester City defender Harry Maguire, who has been a revelation since making the move to the King Power Stadium last summer.
The 24-year-old broke out at Sheffield United before making the move to Hull City back in 2014, for whom he impressed immeasurably last season but ultimately wasn’t able to keep in the top-flight, although he did remain in the top tier following a summer move to Leicester City for just £17 million.
And given the centre-back’s efforts for the Foxes this term, that £17 million fee is looking like an absolute bargain, as the Englishman has shown his class with starts in all 27 of their Premier League games this term, and a clear improvement in his all round defensive capabilities.
Ultimately, Maguire has always been a combative centre-back not afraid to put a tackle in or go toe-to-toe aerially with some of the biggest forwards, but he has also improved greatly on the ball, showing greater calmness and composure under pressure, and a desire to play out from the back and launch attacks.
And that appears to be the new barometer of a centre-back in the modern game – look at both Alderweireld and compatriot Jan Vertonghen on the books at Spurs – and there’s no reason under Pochettino’s guidance why the 24-year-old could not become even better.
Maguire broke into the England squad at the rear end of 2017 to underline his meteoric rise, as well as the bright future he has in the game at both club and indeed international level.
And with Alderweireld possibly on his way out of Tottenham in the coming months, and Pochettino proving his credentials in nurturing English talent already in his career, the North London outfit should do all they can to lure £13.5 million-rated Maguire (as per Transfermarkt) to the club.
Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!