Which Spurs players are surplus to requirements?

Dawson Chadli Spurs


In my last post, I took a look at some transfer targets rumoured to be interesting Tottenham boss, Mauricio Pochettino. With a large squad and some new arrivals, the new manager will have to make some tough decisions on which players to let go. So who could be leaving the club in the near future?

Michael Dawson

Dawson has been a great servant to Spurs, and at times something of a cult hero. He is our longest serving current player, beating Aaron Lennon by a couple of months. He has even won four England caps during his time at White Hart Lane.

One of his strengths is his ability in the air, winning more than twice as many aerial duels per game last season, as the next best Tottenham player. The defender’s other less tangible strength is the leadership he provides, a scarce quality at Spurs last season.

The problem is that he just doesn’t have enough pace – or a good enough reading of the game to make up for it. Last year the Tottenham captain was exposed ruthlessly by sides fielding two up front and relying on fast passing – Manchester City and Liverpool being the two most obvious examples.

He could be an asset to a club with a different defensive philosophy but Pochettino’s high line doesn’t suit him, nor will splitting wide to cover his fullback. It’s sad to admit but it’s time for him to move on.

Kyle Naughton

Naughton has often been unfairly judged on his performances at left back, a position that he is clearly not comfortable in – more the fault of Spurs failure to sign cover in that area.

At his preferred position of right back, he is competent but uninspiring. When Kyle Walker was injured for a prolonged period at the end of last season, it was evident how big a gulf in class there is between the two former Sheffield United players.

Tottenham need more effective cover and someone who can provide Walker with some competition. My disappointment with Danny Rose has been well documented in this blog but at least he fits the Pochettino mould for a fullback – essentially a running and crossing machine. Naughton clearly doesn’t.

It sometimes feels like the backup right back is still developing, while fellow squad member, Aaron Lennon is considered past his best. Naughton was born in 1988, Lennon 1987.

Nacer Chadli

The Belgium winger joined Spurs as part of our Bale inspired transfer binge. Of all the tales of disappointment and failure from that group, he is the one player I don’t see having much future at Tottenham.

By rights he should be a good player, he’s certainly got the physical attributes. He just doesn’t do very much, as just 1 goal and 3 assists in the Premier League testify.

If we bring in a left sided wide player, we should look to offload Chadli.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto

For all Danny Rose’s faults, I’d much prefer to have him at Spurs than Assou-Ekotto. Rather than retread old ground, if you don’t know why, read my article on the Cameroon international here.


  • Sandro will need to impress early this season. He was immense two years ago but since his injury he’s looked off the pace and a little too keen on social media. Maybe he can recover his old form, I’m doubtful.
  • Younes Kaboul has had terrible injury problems in recent years. When he has played, he has looked lacking in concentration and error prone. If we bring in Musacchio, I wouldn’t be surprised if the big Frenchman made an exit.
  • Dembele and Paulinho were unimpressive last season. If the Schneiderlin deal goes through and Bentableb continues to develop, I can’t see us needing both of them.
  • On the pitch, Adebayor was fantastic last year but with him there’s always a doubt in my mind. I’ll be interested to see how he gets on with Pochettino.

Some big decisions await Mauricio Pochettino before the transfer window closes. Let’s hope he makes the right ones and Tottenham go into the new season with a squad that can compete in the upper reaches of the Premier League.

Discuss this with me on Twitter: @ABPSpurs

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Do you agree? Who would you like to see leave Spurs this summer? Please let us know your opinion in the comments section below.


8 thoughts on “Which Spurs players are surplus to requirements?

  1. PhilO

    Those who should leave:
    Defense – Dawson(sell) too slow and lacks quality, Fryers (sell or loan) may come through under Pochettino, Assou Ekotto(sell) just needs to go, isn’t good for the dressing room
    Midfield – Sandro(sell) always unfit, always in danger of a red card, Townsend(sell) too inconsistent, not good enough, Carrol(sell) not good enough
    Strikers – Kane(sell) not good enough, Soldado (sell if we get Bony) doesn’t take his chances
    all the above is potential crap, as hopefully pochettino will improve the lot, well lets hope

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      Generally I agree.

      I still hope Soldado will come good. So many goals in La Liga can’t have been just luck. Although I understand people who thinks otherwise.

      I also quite like Kane. He may fit Pochettino’s needs of a striker if Lambert is the model.

  2. ChrisCOYS

    Naughton – (Give him away or pay someone to take him please) – Dawson – Assou – Walker – (Fryers on Loan)
    Carrol – Sandro – Holtby – Chadli
    Harry Kane – One touch and falls over (Need strength and power of a Bony)

    Just 9

  3. Kevin

    As much as it is plain to see that Dawson is past his time, I think it would be nice to keep him until he can get his testimonial.

    I read somewhere that by the winter transfer, he would have fulfilled the requirements. I guess then we could sell/loan him.

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      Good point. I had heard that the testimonial situation complicated things. Can’t we just agree he can have one anyway if he moves? He deserves one.

      He’s done great stuff for the club but he could still be good in a different defensive setup at another club.

  4. bob

    I think Pochettino has been left with a right mess to sort out. Too many midfielders and too many fairly average players. With 25 the Pl max Spurs reportedly have 32 players on the books. With 7 over target it certainly looks like we sell before buying. Which puts into question the validity of all those targets the media would have us believe
    Pochettino is wanting to buy. Where would he play them?

    1. AnythingButPenalties Post author

      The turnover of managers, added to Baldini pursuing his choices and Levy’s eye for a deal has massively inflated our squad. Having a director of football is supposed to sort this stuff out but doesn’t seem to have helped in this case.


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