Tottenham: Lengthy contract could cause Kane issues
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The news that Mauricio Pochettino could be on his way back to north London will be music to the ears of many Tottenham supporters. But it is not just fans who would like to see the former Spurs boss back in the dugout: plenty of players would also benefit from a shock return.
According to reports, Pochettino is in talks with Tottenham over a sensational return to the club who sacked him just 18 months ago.
The Argentine is unhappy at Paris Saint-Germain and has struggled to settle in at the club he joined in January to replace Thomas Tuchel.
Pochettino won the French Super Cup and the Coupe de France, but PSG were knocked out of the Champions League in the semi-finals and finished second in Ligue 1 to Lille.
The Athletic reports that the 49-year-old could be forced to resign from PSG, where he still has another year on his contract, in order to force a move back to Spurs.
Tottenham’s players are reportedly aware of the possibility of Pochettino returning and are ‘excited by the prospect’.
Pochettino showed all his managerial qualities over five years at Spurs, but which players would be particularly happy to welcome back their former boss?
Here Express Sport highlights five who might be keener than most.
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Of all the current Spurs players who would be happy to see Pochettino return, Alli is top of the list.
The midfielder described the 2020/21 season as the “most difficult” of his career, with some “incredibly low moments and tough challenges”, thanks largely to Jose Mourinho, who froze him out of the first team.
But Alli is still just 25 years old and showed in a few bright performances under interim boss Ryan Mason that he has the ability to mount a comeback.
Under Pochettino, in the 2016/17 season, Alli managed 18 goals and seven assists in the Premier League. With an arm around the shoulder, rather than the cold shoulder, he will hope that the good times return under the Argentine.
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Winks is another Pochettino regular who has slipped down the pecking order in the Mourinho era.
Like Alli he is 25 years old, and like his team-mate he will not be going to this summer’s European Championships.
Winks started just nine Premier League games this season – and two of those came in the final two matches of the season under Mason’s management.
There were rumours of the central midfielder moving on last summer to guarantee game time; if Pochettino does not return then they are likely to resurface once again.
Kane is already established as the talking point of the summer, with the England striker trying to push for a move away from Tottenham.
The 27-year-old is frustrated with the lack of progress at Spurs and wants to move on in order to win some trophies.
While that stance is clearly ingrained and he is unlikely to be convinced that Tottenham can satisfy his ambitions, the return of Pochettino can’t hurt.
Like many Spurs players, Kane has a strong personal relationship with the former Southampton boss and he could provide a tonic to the harsh Mourinho era.
Tottenham’s captain was reportedly considering a move to PSG this summer to re-join Pochettino. If the PSG manager moves to north London then he might not want to leave anymore.
The 34-year-old Frenchman is about to enter the final year of his contract with the club, but is a valuable leader and voice in the dressing room, having captained the club since 2015.
If Pochettino wants to lead a revival next season then he is likely to want his leader on board.
Spurs have several long-serving players at the club and, since Jan Vertonghen moved on, Alderweireld has taken on greater importance.
The 32-year-old still has two more years left on his contract and was a key part of the side which reached the Champions League final two years ago.
Tottenham’s defence is clearly in need of some new blood, with Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez showing signs of regression, but Pochettino could inspire improvements.
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