Tottenham chief Tim Sherwood knew only too well that there would be no repeat of the spending spree carried out by Andre Villas-Boas last summer during this window, but the St Albans man has dreamed up a few innovative ways of putting his stamp on the Portuguese’s squad nonetheless.
Drafting Emmanuel Adebayor back into the side and promoting 19-year-old Frenchman Nabil Bentaleb from the youths into the seniors has worked wonders for the Lilywhites, who are unbeaten under Sherwood in the Premier League and 4/5 in the double-chance market to still be so after hosting Manchester City.
The 1994/95 Premier League title winner with Blackburn has made no secret of the fact that Bentaleb has leapfrogged older pros Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue in the midfield pecking order at White Hart Lane and the unfancied pair have been linked with moves away from north London this month.
Spurs fans may bemoan the fact that neither (but in particular Capoue) have been given a fair crack of the whip, as the France international’s first season in the Premier League has been hampered by injury, while Holtby has only started 10 league games in his 12 months at the club.
However, having netted 10 times in 55 Bundesliga matches with Schalke, the three-cap German has only struck once in the English top flight, while Capoue’s name looks set to become synonymous with Villas-Boas’ last match in charge at White Hart Lane – the 5-0 loss at home to Liverpool.
Neither player has featured in any of their team’s last three outings and with PSV Eindhoven and Napoli seemingly eager to take the pair off Sherwood’s hands, Spurs should take the opportunity to free up space in their congested midfield ranks.
Director of Football Franco Baldini is in Italy and rumoured to be working on signing Inter Milan playmaker Fredy Guarin, who could come as cover should both Holtby and Capoue leave, as the Colombian can operate in a deep-lying midfield role or on the right of an attacking three behind a centre-forward.
The Nerazzurri are keen to sell and while Guarin is hardly a goal machine – with just three Serie A strikes netted by the 27-year-old this term – his presence would provide a fresh option to a manager clearly unconvinced by certain members of his squad.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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