Spurs must elevate Roma target to defensive general, not sell him

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As the owners of the leakiest defence in the Premier League’s top six last season, Spurs’ pursuit of a new centre-back is a reasonable summer strategy.

With Michael Dawson, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches on their books already though, one of the first-team quartet will have to carry the can for such a holey performance before a new defender can arrive.

If latest reports are to be believed, it could be a case of last in, first out for the Lilywhites defence, as the 24-year-old Romanian, who only signed for the club last August, is a summer target of Roma’s.

Rather than let the former Steaua Bucharest man be a scapegoat, though, Mauricio Pochettino should be elevating the 25-capped international as his defensive general for the coming season, where the north London club are 7/2 for a top-four finish.

Chiriches’ Spurs career started in solid fashion, as the side didn’t concede a single goal, let alone lose a game, in his first six starts.

In fact, the team only lost four games with him in the starting XI and his record compares favourably to his defensive teammates.

Of the quartet, Roma’s latest Premier League target made more tackles per game according to whoscored.com, while also leading the four in successful interceptions per outing with 2.2.

With a manager that likes to win the ball back as quickly as possible now in charge of the club, Chiriches’ ability to read the game and intercept the ball makes him a valuable commodity and not one that should be dispensed with.

Kaboul’s injury problems make him an unreliable squad member, while Dawson, never the quickest of centre-backs, is only going to struggle the longer he plays in such a high-line dependant system.

Either of those two would be better options to sell on than Chiriches, while Vertonghen’s ability to cover left-back also sees him safe.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.