Tom Huddlestone On The Verge Of Stoke Loan

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Tom Huddlestone of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the UEFA Europa League play-off match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Heart of Midlothian FC at White Hart Lane on August 25, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

It looks like it could be another busy day at Spurs Lodge, and for us at Cartilage Free Captain's imaginary headquarters. We learned yesterday that Stoke City are interested in taking Tom Huddlestone on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, and we're expecting that to be announced today, provided he passes a medical. The BBC, ESPN and The Telegraph are all reporting the same thing this morning: Huddlestone's loan move is as good as done.

This is probably a good move for the club, who need to get Huddlestone playing time this season. He didn't play at all last year and his rust showed during preseason. He'll be going into a Stoke team where he has a better chance to play than he does currently at Tottenham Hotspur.

However, there are a few reasons why this might not be a terrific move for any of the three parties by the end of the transfer window.

From Huddlestone's perspective, the best place for him to go this year is the Premier League club where he can get the most minutes, plain and simple. He was very good in his last full season for Spurs and he's only 25-years-old. If he can get back to his old form, he has a future at the club. At first glance, it looks like Huddlestone can get right into the Stoke team, but that's not necessarily the case.

Glenn Whelan is currently the only locked-in starter in the center of midfield. Wilson Palacios and Dean Whitehead are competent, but not great and can be displaced. Rory Delap is now 36-years-old and no more than a substitute, but that's still four decent midfielders. They've also recently signed 21-year-old Jamie Ness from Rangers, and they're rumored to be chasing Maurice Edu from Rangers as well. And on top of that, there have been yet more rumors floating around that Geoff Cameron is looked at by Tony Pulis as a potential starting midfielder, not a third central defender.

If Pulis sees Cameron as a midfielder and Edu arrives on a free, that's seven central midfielders on a team that usually plays 4-4-2. None of them are useless players. That's a lot of competition for minutes for Huddlestone.

At the same time, everyone's expecting Luka Modric's transfer to Real Madrid to be locked up by the end of the transfer window. I'm okay with Jake Livermore, Sandro, Scott Parker and Tom Carroll, but it sure would be nice to have another body. If the team hasn't already lined up the oft-mentioned "Modric replacement", suddenly it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to let Huddlestone go.

Am I over-thinking this? While a Huddlestone loan to a mid-table team sounds nice on the surface, this doesn't feel like it benefits anyone when you really think about it.


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