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Premier League 2019/20: Tottenham Hotspur's ideal midfield combination for the upcoming season

Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup

Tottenham Hotspur started their pre-season campaign with a 3-2 victory against Juventus, courtesy of an outrageous half-line effort from Harry Kane. The Liliywhites will begin their next campaign on the back of a remarkable 2018/19 campaign where they finished as the Champions League runners-up.

Spurs have signed two players thus far and will need more recruitments in order to sustain the levels they achieved last season. Tanguy Ndombele showed glimpses of his quality in a 30-minute cameo against the Bianconeri. Tottenham is linked with a few more players but Ndombele's arrival has settled Pochettino's midfield combination to a certain extent.

Pochettino prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation and early signs have hinted that the Argentine tactician is going to stick to his tried and tested methods next season as well.

With Tottenham's upcoming campaign in mind, let's glance through Pochettino's ideal midfield axis.


CDM: Moussa Sissoko

Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup

In spite of his limited abilities, Moussa Sissoko has been a vital cog in Pochettino's system, transforming from a wide-player to a holding midfielder with the help of his imposing physique and work-rate. The Frenchman was instrumental in Tottenham's incredible Champions League journey, barring his handball which resulted in Liverpool taking a crucial lead in the crunch clash.

Sissoko was Spurs' best midfielder last season, and injury issues to Dele Alli and Harry Winks ensured that France international featured consistently for The Lilywhites. In his 29 Premier League appearances, Moussa averaged 7.17 ball recoveries per game- substantial numbers for a holding midfielder.

In terms of passing, the 29-year-old distributed the ball 46.5 times with an accuracy of 86.48%. The statistics underscore the value of Sissoko in Pochettino's side as a utility midfielder. With Dele Alli deployed as a number-ten, Harry Winks could find himself behind Sissoko in the pecking order.

CDM: Tanguy Ndombele

Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup
Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur - 2019 International Champions Cup

Tanguy Ndombele's cameo against Juventus explained the rationale behind Spurs breaking their transfer record to prise the French midfielder away from Lyon this summer. The £65-million-man showed what Tottenham missed in midfield last season, providing much-needed incision and purpose after coming on as a second-half substitute.

It goes without saying that Ndombele will be one of the first names to be mentioned in Tottenham's starting XI in the upcoming campaign. Ndombele is certain to partner his compatriot Moussa Sissoko in Pochettino's two-man midfield axis, with the latter playing the role of a ball progressor.

Last season, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli had to drop deep into the midfield to receive the ball, hence downsizing their threat in the attacking areas. Ndombele's ball retaining qualities and drive from midfield will ensure that Spurs' playmakers occupy menacing positions on the higher end of the pitch.

CAM: Christian Eriksen

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

Since his arrival from Ajax in the summer of 2013, Christian Eriksen has been one of the best players to don the Tottenham shirt. Under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino, the Danish playmaker has garnered a reputation of being one of the best creative midfielders in Europe.

In his 206 Premier League games, Eriksen has contributed directly to 109 goals. The 27-year-old was reportedly considering his future at Spurs in the aftermath of the club's second-place finish in the Champions League. However, Eriksen looks set to spend another season in London amid a paucity of potential buyers for the midfield metronome.

Eriksen was remarkable for The Liliywhites last season and contributed significantly to the department in the absence of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, registering 13 goals and as many assists. Due to a lack of quality in midfield, Eriksen had to drop deeper than his preferred position to receive the ball and distribute accordingly. However, Ndombele's arrival will allow the Denmark international to operate in a slightly advanced role, fetching greater returns.

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Edited by Zaid Khan
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