For a while now we’ve been wondering about which Tottenham Hotspur players will be sold in this summer’s transfer window. In particular, there’s a glut of players currently in Spurs’ midfield, and we’ve been speculating for months that something has to give. Now, we may have an answer.
Dan Kilpatrick, writing for ESPN, reports that Clinton N’Jie, Alex Pritchard, Nabil Bentaleb, and Federico Fazio have been deemed surplus to requirements and are very likely to be sold. None of the four were listed in Spurs’ traveling roster for their trip to Australia to face Juventus and Atletico Madrid, and have reportedly been told to use the time while Spurs are away to find new clubs.
#thfc Bentaleb, N'Jie, Pritchard and Fazio are all surplus to requirements at Spurs. Hence no tour place.— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) July 22, 2016
We’ve seen the writing on the wall for Clinton N’Jie for a week or so now, ever since the rumors emerged that he was close to a loan to Marseille. Now, new reports suggest that his old club Lyon and OGC Nice have made last minute attempts to sign him and bring him back to Ligue 1. Marseille still seems the most likely destination.
Fazio, by contrast, is the least surprising person on this list. After a season on loan with Sevilla where he barely had an impact, he has no chance of a first team number this season and will likely depart to whatever club will have him plus a ham sandwich.
Alex Pritchard and Nabil Bentaleb are harder pills to swallow. Both are Tottenham academy graduates and both were coming off of very promising seasons in 2014-15 before suffering disastrous injury-laden seasons that held them back from getting their chance with Spurs. Now it looks like their chances have passed them by. Bentaleb was, by all accounts, desperately working in training to catch Pochettino’s eye and earn back his starting position in midfield.
Both players will have suitors. ESPN notes that Bentaleb has spoken to at least one club on the continent; Pritchard has been priced at £8m and would prefer to stay in England.
The departures of Pritchard and Bentaleb will have an impact on Spurs’ midfield depth. Without any further additions or departures, Spurs will likely start the season with a central midfield stable of Moussa Dembele, Eric Dier, Victor Wanyama, Ryan Mason, and Tom Carroll. There’s been talk that a younger player such as Josh Onomah, Harry Winks, or Dominic Ball could also stake a claim for a rotation spot, and Dele Alli can also deputize farther back.
Attacking midfielders include Alli, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son Heung-Min, Nacer Chadli, and presumably Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.