Benoit Assou-Ekotto has reportedly fallen out of favour at White Hart Lane and is free to leave the club.
The Cameroon international was told that he was not part of Andre Villas-Boas’ plans this season, but his search for a new club looks to be ongoing.
Assou-Ekotto has seemingly lost his place as Spurs’ first-choice left-back to Danny Rose, who has returned from his loan spell at Sunderland to cement a place in the starting XI.
Fàbio Coentrão is also rumoured to be on his way to north London as part of a deal with Real Madrid for Gareth Bale, putting further pressure on the left-back position.
Amongst Spurs fans, opinion is divided on Assou-Ekotto.
His laid-back attitude has often been called into question, although his enigmatic, afro-clad persona has made him a fan favourite for some of the Tottenham faithful.
He caused a stir earlier this summer when he claimed to have “never heard of” star signing Paulinho, and once jumped into the crowd after a game to confront a fan who criticised his performance.
His commitment is also somewhat dubious, having once claimed he would rather leave the club than play in the “useless” Europa League.
Nonetheless, despite his many moments of puzzling eccentricity, Ekotto could potentially be a huge loss for Tottenham.
Selling the Cameroonian would not particularly benefit the club financially, but the loss of his experience and composure on the ball could be demonstrable.
Ekotto endured an erratic start to life at Tottenham, signing in the same summer as Dimitar Berbatov and Dider Zokora. Yet he stands as the only one of the three who remains at White Hart Lane and proved he can compete at the highest level during Spurs’ Champions League run of 2010.
Like his nearest competitor Danny Rose, Ekotto has pace going forward and is a fantastic passer of the ball; his long-range crosses across the park would certainly be missed, amid a frenzy of wingers at Tottenham who simply play directly down the flank.
Ekotto has never contributed a vast number of goals, but when he has hit the back of the net, it has always been memorable. If Spurs are to lose Gareth Bale, Ekotto is one of the few men capable of emulating his long-range free kicks from the left, as he did against Liverpool on the opening day of the season in 2009.
Danny Rose has taken great strides in the last twelve months but is still relatively inexperienced, and an Ekotto in the hand is surely worth two Coentrao's in the bush.
Ekotto’s wishes to move abroad are understandable, having been displaced as the best afro in the league by Marouane Fellaini and now Willian. But if Ekotto proves to be hair today, gone tomorrow, Spurs could be the ones to suffer.
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