Spurs centre-back overhaul

With Vlad Chiriches clearly not being anywhere good enough, Younes Kaboul doing his best Ledley King impression and Jan Vertonghen shuffling his feet until he can move, defending has been a problem at left centre-back.

This coupled with a poor left-back has had the knock-on effect of upsetting the normally solid right side of our defence as shown by last seasons statistics. Clearly Spurs need an overhaul.

Bearing in mind we have to have 8 homegrown players named in a 25 man squad and the failure of foreign stars to settle in London buying British raises it's appeal again. However to buy British is expensive, you normally pay a premium price because of the homegrown factor.

Tottenham have been scouring Europe for centre-backs having watched 28 year-old Argentinian defender Gabriel Paletta at Parma, 20 year-old Nottingham Forest centre-back and England youth international Jamaal Lascelles, Fiorentina 23 year-old defender Stefan Savic and 21 year-old German Under 21 international Andre Hoffman at Hannover among others.

Spurs centre-back overhaulBut there are two closer to home that are proven and would not need an adjusting to the Premier League period. Steven Caulker and Micah Richards are high of Spurs wanted list.

Spurs fans need no convincing of the ability of Caulker who only left because he wanted to play first-team football which was limited under Andre Villas-Boas. Now with a full season in the league the Cardiff City skipper will want to leave if his side are relegated, which looks highly likely.

He has had an impressive season and has the ability to play at a higher level. He is also left sided so would walk into the Spurs side next season as a first choice. he is comfortable on the floor and like to play football from the back, crucially he is good in the air as well so strengthens us in the air as set pieces, something that has been a weakness this season.

Naturally his price will have shot up from the £8.5 million we sold him for so we may have to pay £15 million to get him back. He knows Spurs and would be an ideal fit.

Mchael Dawson would benefit from having someone he can rely on beside him but if Micah Richards comes to White Hart Lane he might find that he is the back up to the Man City man.

Richards is only 25 but seems to have been around forever. Manchester City want him to sign a new contract and have offered him a 5 year-deal, but he has told the club he is not willing to put pen to paper. He currently has one year left on his deal so Man City are believed to be willing to let him go while they can still command a fee. Buying a player in such circumstances would allow Daniel Levy to get a proven premier league performer cheaply.

He has the added advantage of being able to play at right-back so would also provide quality cover for Kyle Walker. There will be shouts that he is injury prone but exactly what does that mean.

Spurs centre-back overhaulInjury prone is constantly breaking down with different injuries not being out for a protracted period with one injury. If a player is brought back slowly from a long term injury he has less problems than if he is rushed and Spurs have been in a rush to get fit centre-backs these last two seasons.

You never quite know until you push someone but given time players recover fully from long term set backs. Younes Kaboul may well be fully fit next season and either he or Richards alongside Caulker gives aerial ability and ability with the ball on the floor.

Richards had a knee operation in October 2012 which kept him out until the start of the season. He has been down the pecking order as a result. This season game time has been severely limited and he had a hamstring injury on December 10th which kept him out for a month. Currently he has a knee injury which will fuel the injury pone arguments however would you call Jan Vertonghen injury prone, he has had two periods of injury this season as well.

Of course if we are interested in a player then Liverpool have to be mentioned in the same breath, indeed they tried to take him on loan in January. They too are eyeing up Richards and they of course will be able to offer the Champions league football we can't.
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The fact that two teams challenging for the title want him tells you he has a lot to offer. Richards and Caulker would certainly strengthen our defence.

Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul, Steven Cailker and Micah Richards would form a solid pool but with our problems in that area over the last few years, you wonder whether we should now have 5 centre-backs. if that were the case then developing 18 year-old Milos Veljkovic our very highly rated Serbian Under-19 international or Zeki Fryers could provide emergency cover.

If we are not in Europe then we are likely to suffer less injuries and therefore can get away with having these two youngsters as emergency cover, if we are in Europe it might be a different story.

A back four of Kyle Walker Micah Richards Steven Caulker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto looks a lot better than some of the defences we have had to call upon this season. With Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson challenging for places the centre-back region might cease to be a problem and the defence as a whole would start to look a lot healthier.



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