Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez are heavily rumoured to be on their way to Spurs, as the Southampton exodus continues. It was inevitable that Mauricio Pochettino would try to bring some of his former players to White Hart Lane but are these the two worth buying?
Southampton have already lost five players and, of course, Pochettino himself this summer. Considering that the Saints only finished eighth last season, it seems hard to believe that the manager and so many of the players, can all be that good. How do Schneiderlin and Rodriguez measure up, and do they fill a gap in our current squad?
Jay Rodriguez was one of a group of young, mainly English players who shone in last season’s Southampton side. It wasn’t just their results that impressed, it was the way they achieved them, playing a brand of fast paced, attacking, yet tactically sophisticated football – not something you normally associate with English players.
Rodriguez can play in an offensive role anywhere across the midfield or as a striker, but has mainly prospered as a left wing / wide forward, where he tends to cut inside, allowing his fullback to overlap.
With Sigurdsson joining Swansea, the Southampton man would fill a hole in the Spurs’ squad. Lamela looks to have made the right midfield slot his own and Eriksen naturally fits the number 10 role, but as yet nobody has staked a strong case on the left side.
Rodriguez is a proven goalscorer, finishing as Southampton’s top marksman in the Premier League last term, with 15. For a wide attacking player, he made a relatively low number of crosses and key passes. This is fine when you have Luke Shaw overlapping, but is Ben Davies as potent an attacking weapon?
The biggest negative is the injury Rodriguez sustained near the end of last season – rupturing his anterior cruciate knee ligament. It is a fairly serious injury and one that has hampered or even ended careers.
Will a player who relies on pace and trickery, fully recover? Buying him now, while he’s still only in light training and hasn’t even started a pre-season game, is a huge gamble.
Morgan Schneiderlin operated mainly in a defensive midfield position last term but he is more of a box-to-box midfielder than an out-and-out defensive player. He has played over 200 times for the Saints, making his debut at the age of 18 and representing them in League One, the Championship and the Premier League.
He went to the World Cup in Brazil with France, although he only featured in their 0-0 draw with Ecuador, once qualification to the knock-out stages was already assured.
Schneiderlin came top for tackles and third for interceptions in the Southampton squad last season. In fact for tackles, he was in the top five for the whole Premier League. At the other end of the pitch, he has the energy to arrive late in the box, helping to create overloads in the opposition penalty area.
The main question mark over his signing is whether a box-to-box / defensive midfield player is Spurs’ most pressing need, especially with Southampton asking such a high price. Schneiderlin definitely seems an upgrade on our current options, but with Paulinho, Bentaleb and Dembele all fulfilling a similar role, could the money be spent better elsewhere?
Schneiderlin and Rodriguez fit into the Spurs manager’s system – they proved this while at Southampton. Both are still relatively young, at 24 years of age. They seem to have a large amount of respect for Pochettino and he obviously trusts them. Both look like players who would thrive at Spurs but there are question marks.
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Are Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez good buys for Spurs? Please let us know your opinion in the comments section below.