As if the hectic feast of fixtures scheduled around the festive season isn’t enough to have on one’s plate at this time of year, managers and players also have to deal with the return of football’s great unsettler – the January transfer window.
While the arrival of yellow tickers, klaxons and giant touchscreens offers arguably more fanfare than Big Ben could ever throw up, this year the window opens at midnight on January 2nd.
And though the clubs scraping near the bottom of the Premier League may see it as an opportunity to strengthen in badly-needed areas, arguably those sides faring much better can only see the transfer window as a threat to their progress and stability.
One club who might well fall somewhere in-between is Spurs, whose surprise home defeat to Newcastle didn’t dampen too many hopes at White Hart Lane that this season’s steady consistency can see them claim a Champions League spot come May.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side are the epitome of balance. With a healthy mix of experience and exciting promise, a defence boasting no-nonsense centre halves alongside penetrating full backs, and an attack that has a potent mix of directness and subtle guile.
To maintain this balance, Pochettino will see January as a good time to slightly tweak his pack by shifting some of those not making much of an impression on first-team affairs. Here are four who could well be making way…
It’s been a strange old year and a half since Davies made a big-money move to White Hart Lane. After excelling at Swansea once ousting long-time first choice Neil Taylor, Davies was expected to do just the same to Danny Rose, who had long had a hot and cold relationship with the Spurs faithful.
Instead, Davies made only nine starts last season as Rose cemented his place as Pochettino’s first choice left back.
It started much more promisingly for Davies this time round as he played the full 90 minutes in seven of Spurs’ opening eight games. Since then though, he’s had to make do with a spot on the bench as Pochettino has favoured the more attack-minding Rose, who’s played every game in the period to follow.
Assuming Davies won’t be content as a motivational tool for Rose for too much longer, Spurs can expect some interest should Davies not return to the side before January.
The England winger was heavily linked with a move to a number of clubs in the summer but no transfer proved forthcoming. However since then, Townsend has made just three starts for Spurs and last month hit the news following a reported spat with fitness coach Nathan Gardiner.
Cue a fine and an indefinite ban from the side, which appears to still be enforced given his last appearance in a white shirt was on October 17th when he came off the bench for four minutes against Liverpool.
Expect the summer interest from the likes of Newcastle, Sunderland and Aston Villa to be revived given their respective predicaments.
Vorm was part of the deal that saw Gylfi Sigurdsson return to Swansea, and made the move to North London from Wales the same day that teammate Davies did. However the Dutch international has failed to dislodge the unflappable Hugo Lloris from the first team and has subsequently only made four Premier League appearances for Tottenham.
Vorm is highly rated in Premier League circles after an impressive three seasons at Swansea and at 32 years old is likely to get restless playing back up at an age when a keeper should be hitting their prime.
The old managerial quandary of keeping a strong number-two stopper happy could well hit Pochettino hard unless he endeavours to strike more balance in this area too. For a start, playing Vorm over Lloris in the Europa League (where he’s yet to make an appearance) might do the trick.
Less of a surprise will be the exit of Argentinean defender Fazio, who despite making 20 league starts last season following a move from Sevilla, appears to have completely fallen out of favour with his compatriot boss.
He’s made just one appearance all season – the 2-1 League Cup defeat to Arsenal – and is believed to be keen on a return to his former club in Spain, though West Brom have also been credited with an interest in the 28-year-old.
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