Tottenham’s Midfield Moving Forward


Heading into next season, Tottenham’s midfield will begin to expand.

Spurs will see two homegrown players, Tom Carroll and Alex Pritchard, return. Transfermarkt have already updated their pages (Tom Carroll and Alex Pritchard).

Unfortunately, with regards to another midfielder in Lewis Holtby.

While his loan will expire on June 30, Transfermarkt has stated his Hamburg move will become permanent on July 1. Thus, effectively ending his tenure at White Hart Lane.

Although it remains to be seen if it’s true or not. Everyone will have to wait until the transfer window opens, to see if Lewis Holtby will return. (fingers crossed)

With that being said, how does Tottenham maneuver their entire midfield position?

Players such as Paulinho, Étienne Capoue and Mousa Dembélé will assuredly be departing this summer. That will open up three positions on the squad to bring Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard and Dele Alli in.

However, there’s more to it than just that. It’s not as simple as it looks.

Current Defensive Midfielders:

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Actual DMs: Nabil Bentaleb [S], Étienne Capoue, Benjamin Stambouli

Can play DM: Tom Carroll, Mousa Dembélé, Ryan Mason, Paulinho

Current Central Midfielders:

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Actual CMs: Dele Alli, Tom Carroll, Mousa Dembélé, Ryan Mason [S], Paulinho

Can play CM: Nabil Bentaleb, Étienne Capoue, Christian Eriksen, Benjamin Stambouli

Current Attacking Midfielders:

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Actual AMs: Christian Eriksen [S], Alex Pritchard

Can play AM: Dele Alli, Tom Carroll, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembélé, Ryan Mason, Paulinho

(Player Positions via Transfermarkt) **[S] denotes as a Starter**

As you can see, Mauricio Pochettino will be able to mix and match lots of players at different positions, but who would feature in the starting XI?

Let’s say the entire defensive midfielder position is gone — the actual DMs — what should Tottenham do? One option would be to bring someone in. But what if Spurs feel they already have the players to fill in those positions in-house?

Does Ryan Mason move over to a more defensive role and have Tom Carroll/Dele Alli handle the central midfielder role? Sounds easy enough, except that Ryan Mason has been the offensive tag partner to Nabil Bentaleb’s defensive work.

Mason may have no problem switching roles, but can Tottenham afford him to do so with what’s expected to be a make-or-break year for Mauricio Pochettino?

If Ryan Mason struggles playing as a DM, and Tottenham didn’t buy any players to fill this position of need, Pochettino would have to wait until January to fix this problem.

How about the attacking midfielder position?

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Christian Eriksen is the incumbent starter behind Harry Kane in the No. 10 role. While Alex Pritchard can move over and play as a left midfielder, where does Nacer Chadli go?

The intial reaction would be to have him start opposite of Pritchard and move Érik Lamela/Andros Townsend to the bench. But then Pochettino would want to get the most out of Lamela’s huge transfer fee, so he can’t be benched, he’d have to start.

When it comes to benching Chadli, he could see some time off the pitch, but his 10 goals last season makes it hard to consider dropping him.

Lastly, Alex Pritchard has shown he’s capable of becoming a starter when he helped Brentford reach the Championship playoffs and almost get promoted.

All in all, there are plenty of midfield options for Mauricio Pochettino to fiddle around with. Obviously players will come and go in this stacked position.

The only question becomes, who will play, who’ll go to the bench and how many players will actually be out of position once the new season is underway.

Next: Seven Keepers to Replace Hugo Lloris