Mirror: Tottenham Hotspur ready to give up on Etienne Capoue

Michael Regan

French international Etienne Capoue signed for Spurs this summer, but with new manager Tim Sherwood content to hand minutes to Nabil Bentalebt (and possibly a returned Tom Carroll) Capoue has found himself on the outside looking in.

Today, the Mirror posted a rundown of some pertinent Tottenham Hotspur transfer rumors. Most prominent among them, and one that you've no doubt seen before, was one regarding defensive midfielder Etienne Capoue's move to Napoli. Rafa Benitez seems keen to bring in the French international to play in the pivot for his Napoli team, but Capoue just joined Spurs. What gives?

Capoue suffered an ankle injury early in his tenure with Spurs and missed more than a month's worth of matches. When he finally returned from injury, Spurs needed him to play centerback and the midfielder performed about how you would expect a midfielder to do when asked to play in the heart of defense. In fairness to Capoue, he had played centerback before and he didn't look awful, but he was in defense during the Liverpool loss and the West Ham Capital One Cup defeat.

The main problem for Capoue seems to be new manager Tim Sherwood's preference for Nabil Bentaleb in the center of midfield. Capoue has found himself missing out to the youngster or to Danish playmaker Christian Eriksen. There's still no word on a possible Tom Carroll return to White Hart Lane, but one would have to imagine that such a move would almost certainly mean even less minutes for Capoue.

Personally, I don't want to sell Capoue. Sandro is Spurs' first choice defensive midfielder and he hasn't played a full season in his entire career at Spurs. Mousa Dembele often fills in for Sandro when the Brazilian is hurt, but Dembele's skill at breaking up play and sitting deep doesn't come close to Capoue's. If Spurs had a player like Tom Huddlestone or Jake Livermore still around then letting Capoue depart wouldn't be that big of a deal, but as it is, he provides cover and support for so many different positions and with the injury bug having hit Spurs hard this year, the club should be reluctant to let him depart.

One final point to consider is money. Capoue joined Spurs for just under £10MM and I can't imagine, given his performances, that Spurs could even hope to recoup their money. Napoli aren't a super rich team like PSG or Monaco, both of which could also probably use Capoue, so expecting them to drop £12-15MM on him seems out of the question. Hopefully Levy and Co. make the smart decision and keep Capoue around at least until the summer when we can reevaluate his position in a healthy squad.

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