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Have Tottenham Hotspur found their Paul Mitchell replacement?

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Former Derby County head of recruitment Steve Hitchen could take up the same position at Spurs, according to ESPN.

Steve Hitchen of Macclesfield Town Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

Between Tottenham Hotspur’s late capture of Moussa Sissoko and Paul Mitchell’s resignation, it was clear at the end of the summer that Spurs’ transfer strategy was a bit disjointed. Daniel Levy’s hoping to fix that by appointing Steve Hitchen, who will become Tottenham’s new head of recruitment, according to a report by ESPN.

Hitchen, 40 years old, played at League One and League Two level as a defender before retiring in 2004. He became a scout, working for Spurs, Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers in that capacity. Derby County hired him away from QPR in early 2016, naming them their head of player recruitment, but he departed the club in October when the Rams fired manager Nigel Pearson and got rid of a decent chunk of their staff at the same time.

While it’s impossible to figure out who really influenced signings behind the scenes at any club, Hitchen is widely credited for being the Spurs scout that got Luka Modric onto the club’s radar screen, and for being the Liverpool scout that did the same for Luis Suarez at that club. If that’s true, it’s certainly a good sign for Spurs. And for Levy to appoint Hitchen to a position this important, he must have been impressed with Hitchen’s work during his time with the club.

UPDATE: Lyall Thomas has some slightly different information. He says that Hitchen will be chief scout, replacing Ian Broomfield — not head of recruitment, not replacing Paul Mitchell.

We’re sure this will clear up shortly.