We love Benoit Assou-Ekotto. We love him for his afro, for Disco Benny memes, for his constant LOLs, for the pictures he posts on Twitter, for his long diagonal balls and for his carefree attitude about being a professional footballer. There are a lot of things to like about Benny, especially in a world where so few great players play left back.
Two seasons ago, Assou-Ekotto was one of Tottenham Hotspur's most consistent players. After years of being a up-and-down figure, he finally turned in a full excellent season. Of course, this past year was a different story. He was bit by the injury bug early in the season and never regained his form. Kyle Naughton, who is not a left back, held down his job for a short period of time. Jan Vertonghen was occasionally played at left back ahead of Benny for tactical reasons. When Benny did play, he made the kinds of defensive errors and ill-advised giveaways that you expect someone to make when they're getting shuffled in-and-out of the first team.
Assou-Ekotto has been vaguely linked to Paris Saint-Germain for months and Monaco's millions give him another potential destination. Fringe Champions League teams with mediocre fullbacks like Napoli, Real Sociedad, Schalke, Marseille and Lyon would probably be happy to have him. Andre Villas-Boas hasn't been terribly pleased with him, his potential sale value will decline every year from here on out and Danny Rose proved this season that he as, at the very worse, competent. There are plenty of good reasons to sell Benny and plenty of places for him to go.
However, there is the question of what Tottenham will do to replace him. In the event Gareth Bale does go to Real Madrid for £85 million or some other insane number, AVB and Daniel Levy probably won't be opposed to spending a little more than they get for Benny to obtain an upgrade. But if there isn't money for a significantly better player? Well, what the hell are Tottenham going to do at left back? It's not like right wing or box-to-box midfielder; the world only has so many good left backs. Unless Tottenham already have a great replacement lined up, it's likely that selling Benny means getting worse at left back.
What do you guys think? Is it time to move on, or should we stick with Benny for another year?