Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Spurs issue injury update ahead of wild month

Leave a comment

Tottenham Hotspur has weathered an injury crisis to stay in the thick of the Premier League title race, and is getting some of its men back in the fold.

Christian Eriksen and Mousa Dembele have been boosted by the international break, Mauricio Pochettino revealed on Thursday.

[ MLS: New 2nd youngest goal scorer ]

Dele Alli, Danny Rose, and Jan Vertonghen are going to require a bit more healing, though, via the BBC:

“Still maybe 10 days more for Dele Alli and Danny Rose is the same, one week more. Jan Vertonghen is a little bit longer. But the most important thing is that we start to recover players. It will be a tough month of competition for us.”

Spurs are two points back of the trio leading the Premier League ahead of a tricky month for all contenders.

Tottenham visits improving West Ham United on Saturday before heading to PSV Eindhoven and hosting Manchester City. A League Cup date with West Ham follows before a visit to Wolves and a return date with PSV. Then Palace, and another international break.

Get well soon, right?

Key battles for Tottenham vs. Liverpool

1 Comment

Tottenham Hotspur host Liverpool on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and NBCSports.com) in a battle of last season’s third- and fourth-place finishers jockeying for the right to make a genuine challenge to Manchester City’s stranglehold on the Premier League title.

[ MORE: Premier League preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool ]

Tottenham were victorious at Wembley Stadium — site of Saturday’s clash — to the tune of 4-1 last October, courtesy of a Harry Kane brace and single goals from Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, before the two sides played to a memorable 2-2 draw at Anfield in February.

Three points for the home side would see Spurs pull level to the Reds on 12 points, while an away win would open the gap between Jurgen Klopp and Mauricio Pochettino‘s to six points.


Harry Kane vs. Virgil Van Dijk

It’s the world most expensive defender taking on the center forward who would likely command the largest transfer should he hit the market. That’s blockbuster stuff, and rightly so as both Kane and Van Dijk so nearly have every quality you’d expect to see from the ideal player in their respective positions. Kane possesses the size, strength, hold-up and passing ability, craftiness and finishing touch to put any half-chance into the back of the net. Van Dijk, on the other hand, can engage Kane in the kind of physical battle that’s most likely to wear him out over 90 minutes, while simultaneously sticking right alongside him in the open field. Kane won’t often find himself too far from Van Dijk on Saturday, which could mean he’s in for a long, hard day.


Danny Rose or Ben Davis vs. Mohamed Salah

Pochettino has a big choice to make at left (wing) back — as is the case nearly every time out. Typically blessed with a pair of options which offer a night-and-day contrast to one another, Salah is the rare instance of an opponent for whom the Spurs boss truly needs a more well-rounded option. Rose’s attacking tendencies fit part of one gameplan that says the best way to defend Salah is to pin him back by overlapping on his side, but his lack of defensive discipline will almost certainly see him caught out of position a number of times, for which Salah will surely punish him. Davies’ defensive discipline will keep him in the right spots to at least slow Salah and make him work, but his lack of range and inability to change direction won’t allow him to stay in front of the Egyptian — not to mention all of the wide attacking play Spurs lose when he’s picked over Rose, thus inviting constant pressure on the backline as a whole.


Mousa Dembele vs. Naby Keita

Dembele is the soccer equivalent of American football’s “downhill runner”: the type of player who needs the first step or two to be unimpeded in order to generate a bit of moment, who’s then nearly impossible to slow down or take the ball off him once he begins to barrel forward. In his six-plus seasons at Spurs, Dembele has singlehandedly dragged his side to victory on dozens of days, while he’s been rendered completely ineffective on just as many others. It’s tempting to make Eric Dier — who’s far less comfortable and dynamic with the ball at his feet — the target of a press, but it’s Dembele who can be slowed to a crawl and subsequently blunt the entire Spurs attack. Keita will again be the one tasked with triggering the Reds’ high press, and he should made to stick on Dembele from the first to final whistles.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Spurs set to sell; Mina to Man United

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sky Sports are reporting that Tottenham Hotspur is ready to sell Mousa Dembele, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld this summer.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

The trio looked to be ready to leave Spurs since January, with Dembele and Alderweireld not getting any closer to signing new contracts with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side. As for Rose, his commitment to Tottenham has long been questioned and after he gave an explosive interview at the start of last season criticizing the club and its contract policy, his time seemed to be running out in north London.

It is believed that Tottenham will now listen to offers for all three players as they’re due to return to preseason training in the coming days following their run to the World Cup semifinal stage with Belgium and England.

Where could the trio be heading to?

Alderweireld and Rose have long been linked with a move to Manchester United, with the former seeming like a perfect fit for Jose Mourinho’s need for a center back as the pursuit of Leicester and England star Harry Maguire seems to have run its course with the Foxes wanting over $100 million for the defender.

With Alderweireld’s contract having a release clause in it from next season, Spurs are in a tough situation and will have to try and sell the Belgian star now or risk losing plenty of cash on the deal next summer. Dembele has been linked with a move to Inter Milan with the silky midfielder somewhat falling out of favor at Tottenham last season despite showing flashes of brilliance on the ball over the past five seasons at Spurs.

It is believed Spurs will look to the likes of Lewis Cook at Bournemouth to replace Dembele, with Pochettino’s penchant for developing young talent perfect for these kind of situations as he looks to move on veteran stars.


If you believe the reports then quite a few options are opening up for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United in their hunt for a new center back.

Aside from Maguire and Alderweireld, the Daily Mirror claim that United have made a move to sign Barcelona and Colombia center back Yerry Mina with his transfer fee said to be around $41 million.

The 23-year-old shone for Colombia at the 2018 World Cup, scoring twice with powerful headers as he first got them out of the group stage and then took their Round of 16 clash against England to extra time.

With Mina set to be behind both Barca legend Gerard Pique and World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti in the center back pecking order at the Nou Camp, it is easy to see why he’d find a move to United an attractive proposition.

Mina played in just four La Liga games for the reigning Spanish champions last season but his performances at the World Cup showcased not only his aerial ability at both ends of the pitch but also his ability to read the game as he shut Harry Kane down for the majority of their penalty shootout defeat to England.

With Mourinho said to be happy with only Eric Bailly among his center back options, the likes of Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof will likely see themselves fall behind Mina if he arrives at Old Trafford.

Report: Tottenham accepts $40 million bid for Mousa Dembele

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to French media outlet RMC Sport, Tottenham has accepted a $40 million bid for 30-year-old Belgian midfielder Mousa Dembele from an unnamed Chinese club.

Dembele, known for his exquisite dribbling and pinpoint distribution, came to Tottenham from Fulham back in the summer of 2012 and has made 236 total appearances for Spurs across all competitions. He has been often hampered with injuries, but when healthy has often been an automatic selection for manager Mauricio Pochettino.

[ MORE: World Cup Group G preview ]

According to the report, Dembele will wait to decide his future until after the 2018 World Cup, as he is currently on duty in the Belgium squad. Dembele reportedly also has interest from Juventus who could be looking for another midfielder with both Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi at 31 years old and injury prone.

The RMC report mentions that Spurs would prefer to sell Dembele over signing him to a new contract due to his age.

The report also mentions that these rumors could also be the doing of agents looking to test the market or leverage interest towards a new deal for their client. Dembele’s current deal with Spurs he signed back in January of 2016 runs through the summer of 2019, meaning he will be a hot target with just one year remaining.

Pochettino: Dembele “next to Ronaldinho, Maradona”

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Mousa Dembele‘s been appreciated as a midfielder for sometime, but the Belgian is getting as many rave reviews as any other non-scorer these days.

Tottenham’s middle man got the twice-over from his manager on Friday, as Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino prepares for Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Europa League draw ]

Calling Dembele a “genius,” Pochettino heaped praise on the 30-year-old.

“I’ve told you, I put him next to Ronaldinho, Maradona, Okocha – players I’ve been lucky enough to play with. For me he’s one of the unbelievable talents in the history of football.”

The temptation is to make a joke about Dembele being next to Ronaldinho and Maradona in the lobby of an awards ceremony, but the player has been dynamite for some time.

The advanced stats, for what they’re worth, aren’t incredibly kind to Dembele aside from his club-best 93 percent passing percentage and average of 2.2 successful dribbles per game. Still, it’s improbably hard to ignore the eye test, and Dembele passes that one every time.

Spurs are off to Selhurst Park for a Sunday match with Palace (Watch live at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).