Tottenham are creeping ever closer to their first signing of the summer, as a familiar name is reportedly in line to join the White Hart Lane ranks.
Victor Wanyama, an often-linked transfer target for Spurs over the last couple of seasons, is in talks to finally seal his long-protracted switch to north London.
Should those discussions be successful, the Kenyan would link back up with Mauricio Pochettino, who managed the midfielder during his brief stint on the St Mary’s sidelines, before himself heading to the Big Smoke.
A previous working relationship with the Argentine tactician is clearly a carrot for Wanyama as he considers moving clubs, but would that familiarity with Pochettino clear a path into the Spurs first team?
Eric Dier has emerged as a pivotal player for both club and country while operating as a holding midfielder, starting 37 of Spurs’ 38 league games last term.
Shunting the England man out of his new-found role will be a tough task for the current Saints anchorman, but with Champions League football now on the menu at White Hart Lane there is likely to be a greater need for Dier to rest.
It could be that Wanyama is limited to domestic cup games to impress though, as Pochettino’s preference is to keep the spine of his side intact for the bulk of big games.
Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Dier and Harry Kane were Spurs’ top-four Premier League appearance makers last term, showing just how few opportunities were for the reserves to get game time.
Wanyama was a beneficiary of such structured team selection himself during Pochettino’s only full season as Saints boss. He played 1181 minutes of the first 1260 available in the top flight in 2013/14, before having his campaign interrupted by injury.
It should mean the Nairobi native’s eyes are wide open over the pitfalls of moving to Spurs, leaving little room for complaint if he finds himself as Dier’s understudy for much of his early Lilywhite life.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.