3 players who could be cast aside by Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham Hotspur unexpectedly announced the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino and in a dramatic turn of events, Jose Mourinho took over the reins from the Argentinian, signing a three-year deal with the North London club in a whirlwind 12-hour spell for the Lilywhites. Mourinho comes with a proven pedigree and has established himself as one of the greatest coaches in the modern era, having won 22 major honours in his 19-year managerial career so far.
Although Pochettino's sacking was rather shocking, Daniel Levy's decision to appoint a proven winner like Mourinho is a massive statement of intent and in doing so, Spurs have also made the Portuguese manager one of the highest-paid managers in world football, with a net salary of £15 million a season.
As Mourinho aims to imprint his philosophy at the club and finish the season in one of the Champions League spots, let's look at three players who could be cast aside by the Special One.
3. Christian Eriksen
Christian Eriksen's situation at Spurs is a tricky one. The Danish midfielder is a sublime player on his day but the speculation surrounding his future has had its toll on his form this season. The 28-year-old has less than a year left on his contract and it looks inevitable that he'll move on at the end of the season, as Juventus and Real Madrid continue to monitor his situation.
Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks have been bright sparks in an otherwise lacklustre season for the North London club and new signing Tanguy Ndombele could complete the midfield triumvirate for Mourinho, leaving Eriksen in the wilderness. Adding to the fact that the former Ajax's man's mentality has been questioned in recent weeks, Giovani Lo Celso's availability after returning from a long-term injury could push him further down the pecking order.
On the other hand, while Eriksen could also have a new lease of life under Mourinho, it remains likely at this stage that he'll be a bit-part player, before eventually moving on at the end of the season.
2. Dele Alli
The last two seasons have been anything but plain sailing for Dele Alli. Since arriving from MK Dons and taking the Premier League by storm in his first two seasons at the club, the Englishman has struggled to produce the goods regularly and question marks over his attitude has made matters worse for him.
Although Alli's talent is unquestionable, he has stagnated in recent seasons and injuries have continued to hamper him, making him an unreliable asset, to say the least. Mourinho was reportedly unhappy with the way a handful of Manchester United players conducted themselves off the pitch, particularly on social media and his downfall at the club coincided with his falling out with Paul Pogba. Similarly, with Alli, he'd be wary of his antics aim to steer clear of anyone who could turn out to be potential trouble-makers in the squad.
While the 23-year-old's supposed off-field issues could well be hearsay, his prospects of being a key player under Mourinho are not enhanced by his skill-set. Alli's best football came early in his Spurs tenure when Pochettino deployed him as a second striker, allowing him to play off Harry Kane, but it's hard to fathom Mourinho adopting a similar set-up.
The two-time PFA Young Player of the Year will look to reinvent himself under the Special One but his prospects don't look too encouraging, at least for the time being.
1. Serge Aurier
In the summer of 2019, Kieran Trippier sealed a move to Atletico Madrid and with Kyle Walker-Peters not ready for regular top-flight action, Serge Aurier's spot is relatively uncontested in the side. Despite the current situation, the Ivory Coast international has been dropped in favour of Moussa Sissoko, who has filled in as a makeshift right-back and it could be argued that Aurier has failed to win over the fans since his move from Paris Saint-Germain.
The 26-year-old's indifferent form has seen him dropped from the side on numerous occasions this season and it remains likely that Mourinho will analyse his options in January and look to bring in a right-back. Walker-Peters, on the other hand, hasn't featured regularly despite Aurier's absence, signalling that the position needs addressing in the transfer market.
The Ivory Coast captain is incredibly inconsistent defensively, as his positional awareness and concentration, in particular, has come under immense scrutiny in recent weeks. While Aurier looks set to continue at right-back for the time being due to the non-availability of other usable options, he could well be cast aside if Mourinho opts to draft in a replacement.Published 21 Nov 2019, 03:37 IST