Football

Why Tottenham should raid Southampton in the summer

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Gylfi Sigurdsson's dramatic late winner against Southampton on Sunday added some sparkle and shine to a fine comeback for Tottenham, but his injury-time goal papered over many a crack in a terrible, nearly self-destructive first half performance.

But if the match showed us one thing, it's that, right now, there isn't a great deal to separate Southampton and Tottenham in terms of quality on the pitch. Spurs are beginning to stutter despite the progress they've made in the last five years, while the Saints are a side apparently on the up.

With a number of their summer signings still bearing the weight of heavy scrutiny, Tottenham might not go far wrong by taking a closer, more intrigued look at their latest opponents.

Over the past two seasons, Adam Lallana has transitioned through to the Premier League with astounding ease. This season he's managed to speed up that ascension further, earning his first full international caps and near enough barging his way on to England's plane to Brazil this summer, elbows and all.

While wearing the captain's armband for the Saints this season, he's been a major cog in what has become a surprisingly well-oiled Southampton machine. With eight goals, four assists and an 83.2% pass success rate this season, he's contributed to their steady presence in the top half of the table, bringing an air of class and confidence to their play in the process.

He's a player that is improving all the time, and one that is no doubt already building up a great deal of admirers in preparation for the summer transfer window. At Tottenham, his versatility across midfield could add a touch of class going forward.

He can be deployed on the wing – perhaps in place of a gradually declining Aaron Lennon or invisible Erik Lamela – or in a more central role as an attacking midfielder, which would provide Spurs with the option to play a more free-flowing 4-2-3-1 formation that many fans crave.

And let us not forget, Tottenham are never too shy to add another midfielder to their ranks.

Another name on many fans' lips is left back Luke Shaw. His name is being linked with every top club in the Premier League right now, and although he's unlucky to be behind two highly accomplished players in the England pecking order, most people believe his time will eventually come on the international stage.

Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs appear to be leading the chase, with a rumoured £30million apparently the figure to make Southampton start seriously listening.

That figure may be too steep for the pockets of Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis after last season's splurge, but the left-back position is swiftly becoming a massive problem for Spurs.

Danny Rose has continuously been shown up this season, particularly against better sides. Another lacklustre performance against Southampton on Sunday must've had Tim Sherwood and the Spurs hierarchy gazing longingly over at his opposing number in Shaw, who once again put in a near faultless performance for his club.

At just 18 years of age, Shaw looks a serious talent. He's the type of player Spurs have a history of buying – young and English with huge resale potential – and although the English premium rate is always going up, Tim Sherwood has apparently already added him to the top of his list of transfer priorities for the summer.

But the chances of Sherwood actually keeping his job still looks massively uncertain. Spurs are constantly being linked with a handful of big name managers, notably Louis van Gaal – many fans' first choice – and Ajax's Frank de Boer.

But Levy, along with many people, is known to be a strong admirer of Mauricio Pochettino's work.

He's done an astounding job in a very short space of time at Southampton, something Levy would no doubt be looking for if – and in a likelihood, when – he pulls the plug on Sherwood.

And you would imagine Pochettino might be the easiest to sway out of the bunch. Surely he would jump at the chance to manage the calibre of players on the roster at Tottenham right now. He would look to play an attractive, fast, attacking brand of football that is supposedly engrained in the traditions of Tottenham Hotspur (if we are to overlook the majority of the late 90s).

There's also the ongoing uncertainty over his future at Southampton come the end of the season after the dramatic exit of his friend Nicola Cortese in January, meaning Daniel Levy might see an opportunity to pounce.

Could a move for Pochettino sweeten any potential deals for Shaw and Lallana? It would be interesting to see how much influence he could muster over this completely hypothetical (but not wholly unrealistic) situation.

The players at Southampton are always full to the brim with praise for their current manager, but would they be willing to continue their already impressive development with the same manager at a slightly bigger club?

In this day and age it's rare to see a player turn down the likes of Chelsea, City or United over Tottenham, even with the promise of more guaranteed first team football. But it's feasible that an expensive clean sweep of Southampton's prize jewels could be the answer to many of Tottenham’s current problems.


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Topics:
Adam Lallana
Luke Shaw
Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur
England Football
Football
Premier League

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DISCLAIMER

This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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