Unused central defender out, hotshot Italian striker in at Spurs

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Starting with this January’s, Mauricio Pochettino is likely to have two tasks in mind for his transfer windows as Tottenham manager: trim the squad’s fat while still feeding it enough to keep it healthy in the Premier League.

The Argentine can accomplish both of those objectives should the latest deal he’s been linked with go through, which would swap Vlad Chiriches for Roma’s Mattia Destro.

According to The Times, the Serie A side will only enter into negotiations with the Lilywhites over their 23-year-old striker if the Romanian centre-half is included, which should be viewed as a huge stroke of luck by the former Southampton boss.

The defender bought for £8.5m from Steaua Bucharest just last summer has fallen out of favour under Pochettino, which has had an adverse affect on the Romanian’s form.

Chiriches has only started 13 games for Spurs this season, after being named on the teamsheet 22 times last season, and has been reserved exclusively for FA Cup encounters since the 0-0 draw with Manchester United in December.

With Spurs now out of that competition, it’s likely that the 25-year-old will have to wait until the return of the Europa League to get another run out and may see a switch to the Italian capital as a better move for his career.

The north Londoners, who are currently unfancied to qualify for next season’s Champions League at 7/1, will jump at the chance to freshen up their stuttering forward line through Destro, as they continually rely on Harry Kane for goals.

Both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado are at risk of being shipped out the White Hart Lane exit door after disappointing campaigns and Destro, who hasn’t fared much better this term it must be said, will see a live opportunity for regular game time with the Lilywhites.

At 23, the Italian has far more time than either of Kane’s elderly deputies to adapt and perform in the Premier League and has shown a knack for goal-getting in prior seasons, with the 13 goals he netted in 20 appearances last season the most recent example.

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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.