After an embarrassing tie against West Brom at The Hawthorns, Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has a lot of questions to address with our current squad. The most pressing problem is who replaces the injured Toby Alderweireld in Spurs’ starting XI. With a game against Bayer Leverkusen upcoming this week in the Champions League, someone is going to have to step up. Let’s take a look at the most likely replacements.
Remember when Dier was a center back? Dier has transitioned well into being a midfielder but circumstances may call him back to the backline. Dier hasn’t played center back consistently since the 2014-2015 season, but he has filled in sporadically since. Eric was solid at center back two years ago where he played 11 times. Since he has definitely put on more muscle and has matured as a player overall. He’s probably our best option at center back against Leverkusen since he’s strong enough to handle the likes of Chicharito and Hakan Calhanoglu. However his relative inexperience at the position is enough to make one worry. With our Champions League group still being wide open, Poch amy deem it to much of a risk to trust him in the backline.
Kevin Wimmer was bought to be our backup CB. He’s done well replacing the oft injured Jan Vertonghen since we bought him last summer, but he’s yet to fill in at the right center back spot. As for him playing against Leverkusen, he is one of the only players on the team with experience against the German side, having earned multiple clean sheets against them in the Bundesliga. This Leverkusen team is a different beast from the one of two years ago however, with Chicharito being one of the most dangerous scorers in Europe and a midfield that rivals our own in talent. Wimmer has the talent to play at this level, and it would be exciting if Poch gave him the chance to prove himself against elite competition.
An 18 year old playing center back in the Champions League? Probably not. CCV is a talented prospect but is definitely not at the level that is required in UCL football. On the off chance that Poch does start the youngster, expect the internet to melt as the American hype train goes full speed (see Christian Pulisic). This being said, if Dier plays midfield and Wimmer starts at CB that does leave CCV as our main CB sub on the bench. But if we end up needing him off the bench, that probably means things aren’t going too swell for Spurs.
Who’s the most likely to fill in for Toby Alderweireld on Tuesday against Bayer Leverkusen? Have a vote in the poll and put your opinions in the comments.