Tottenham supporters in the Transfer Tavern are sincerely hoping that their club back manager Mauricio Pochettino to go out and make telling signings this summer to take the North Londoners to the next level next season.
The Argentine deserves great credit for leading Spurs to a third successive top four finish in the Premier League this time round, eventually ending up seven points clear of fifth place Chelsea. However, they finished a staggering 23 points adrift of champions Manchester City this term to underline the huge gap between Tottenham and a genuine title challenge, a gap Pochettino will seek to make up next time round as he bids for his first trophy in charge of the club.
Yet one man who looks set to leave the club this summer is defender Toby Alderweireld, what with his ongoing contract situation likely to force Spurs into parting with the 29-year-old in a bid to fetch a fair price for his services.
And one man linked with coming in as a possible replacement for the Belgian ace is West Brom’s Ahmed Hegazi, yet it’s clear that the £4.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) simply isn’t the man to replace linked-away Alderweireld.
Ultimately, 29-year-old Alderweireld has been one of the best centre backs in the Premier League during his time at Tottenham, with the Belgium international playing a key part in their run to third place back in 2016, and then second place last time round in 2017.
And in both of those campaigns, Pochettino’s side finished with the best defensive record in the division to further underline Alderweireld’s influence, and also emphasise how much they are set to miss him if and when he departs this summer.
And while Hegazi deserves credit for a fine debut season in the Premier League this time round, Spurs have to be more ambitious in the transfer market if they are to challenge for major honours next season.
The 27-year-old started all 38 of West Brom’s league matches this term, and while he was part of a Baggies side relegated from the top-flight, he certainly shone in an otherwise hopeless campaign for the Midlands outfit.
Nonetheless, if Tottenham are serious about sustaining a Premier League and/or Champions League challenge next term, they shouldn’t be looking towards relegated clubs for a replacement for Alderweireld.
Yes, Hegazi did well last season, but is he really the calibre of defender that will ask questions of Jan Vertonghen’s first team place, and indeed that of Davinson Sanchez? Not really.
And with Pochettino calling for chairman Daniel Levy to be brave in the transfer window this summer, a move for the Egypt international is hardly being brave.
Thus, Alderweireld’s likely departure will leave a gaping hole in the Spurs central defensive ranks, and as such leaves Pochettino with somewhat of a conundrum on how to fill it.
Yet Hegazi simply isn’t the answer to that conundrum.
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