Five Tottenham players set for the axe

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Football News

Tottenham's newly-appointed manager, Mauricio Pochettino, is set to wield the axe in brutal fashion, as at least five players are expected to face the chop. 

Following their convincing 2-1 pre-season victory against Schalke, the Argentine publicly admitted that many of his players do not fit into his plans, and needs to drastically trim his bloated squad.

''We have a long, long squad'' Pochettino said. ''I think we need to take a decision now to decide how many players to keep, because we have more than 25. For me, too many players. My idea is 25. No more than 25''. 

''We need to decide now, after our tour in America, and start to work here and decide our squad for the future''.

So, I look at five players who look the most likely to be leaving the London outfit this month.

5) Michael Dawson

Tottenham's long-serving captain - having joined from Nottingham Forest in 2005 - looks like one of the most likely players to depart White Hart Lane as he does not suit Pochettino's high defensive line.

Dawson appeared to be close to joining Hull City last month after a reported £5 million fee was agreed. But a move has not yet materialised as he does not want to miss out on a testimonial for 10 years' service next summer.

It is also believed that the no-nonsense defender wants to stay and fight for his place, as he did when Andre Villas Boas was in charge.

4) Benoît Assou-Ekotto

On loan at Queens Park Rangers for their Championship campaign last season, the 30-year-old is deemed surplus to requirements - following the signing of Ben Davies and Danny Rose's recent contract extension.

The fact that the left-back has been training on his own in France seems to provide a very good idea that he is marginalised by the club. He seemingly has virtually no chance of regaining a place in their already bloated squad, despite having spoken of his desire to see out the last year of his contract.

3) Nacer Chadli

Although the tricky winger was recently part of Belgium's star-studded World Cup squad, it looks more likely that Pochettino will either sell Chadli, or use him as a makeweight in a deal for the £15 million-rated Dutchman, Memphis Depay.

Part of Tottenham's £100 million spending spree last summer, the Belgian was brought in due to the reputation he forged in the Eredivisie - a powerful, yet skillful winger who could use both feet.

However, a series of ineffective performances in his debut Premier League season caused many critics to label him as another 'flop'. This saw his chances restricted to mainly coming on from the bench, where he found it even more difficult to influence games.

Despite his quite unusual physical attributes for a winger, many sources have reported that Pochettino does not rate the 6ft 2 man very highly, and is willing to either sell him or use him in a cash-plus-player deal for PSV's Memphis Depay.

2) Brad Friedel

The former USA international is not exactly getting younger at the tender age of 43, and with the recent signing of fellow goalkeeper, Michel Vorm, an offer to join Pochettino's coaching team seems imminent.

With him being a ''fitness freak'', according to some of his teammates, the Ohio-born goalkeeper was willing to be Hugo Lloris's understudy for another season, despite his age.

Nevertheless, the new manager wanted to add fresher, more capable competition for Lloris. But it is said that Pochettino wants to offer Friedel a coaching role instead - having been highly impressed by his professionalism and knowledge of the game. 

This would turn out to be a very clever move by the Argentine, because not only would it free up a spot in the club's squad for another player, but the American would also be a fantastic role model for their youngsters and other players.

1) Kyle Naughton

Out of all the players in this list, the Englishman is arguably the most controversial. With Kyle Walker still troubled by a pelvic injury, and only the inexperienced Ryan Fredericks as current back-up, these may be the factors which save him from the executioner's axe.

On the other hand, the club are on the verge of completing the £2.75 million signing of USA prodigy, DeAndre Yedlin. Should this transfer go through, it would greatly diminish Naughton's chances of staying at the club beyond Transfer Deadline Day.

The 25-year-old replaced Walker as their first-choice right-back due to his niggling pelvic injury. Regardless of this, a number of inconsistent and shaky displays have not done much to justify his place in the team. Therefore, Levy is believed to be open to offers for Naughton of at least £3 million - with Swansea currently monitoring his situation.

Plus, the 21-year-old Ryan Fredericks is highly regarded by their management team due to his combination of technical quality and electrifying speed. Many of the Tottenham faithful believe that the pacey youngster is ready to be given the chance to take Naughton's place, despite his lack of experience.

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