Thursday, February 2, 2023

Are Tottenham Hotspur Making A Mistake By Letting These Two Players Leave?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Tottenham are keen to learn from their mistakes of last season as Mauricio Pochettino has given special attention in strengthening the squad in some specific areas where they suffered last season from their lack of depth. However, according to several media outlets, Tottenham are ready to sell both Ryan Mason after loaning out Nabil Bentaleb this summer. Ryan Mason has already been the subject of interest of newly promoted Hull City while Schalke signed Bentaleb on loan recently.

Mason, has been a Tottenham player since 2008 but has had to bide his time for a spell in the first team as he tried to have enough match practice through his 5 different loan spells. The 25 year old England international has featured heavily under Pochettino since 2014/15 and had featured 66 times for the first team in the last two years.

Bentaleb on the other hand, signed for Tottenham academy in 2012 and broke into the first team under former manager Tim Sherwood the next year and was also the mainstay of the midfield in the Argentine manager’s first season in charge with the London club. Last season, however, Bentaleb made only 5 appearances in the league last season while Mason had 22 but both the midfielders are now considered surplus to the requirements at White Hart Lane after the emergence of Eric Dier alongside a rejuvenated Moussa Dembele. This summer, Tottenham have brought in Victor Wanyama which will mean more bad news for the duo.

While it can be argued that letting go of one player is acceptable as the club won’t be able to provide enough opportunities for him to play, allowing two players to leave does seem to be a mistake, especially with Bentaleb. The Algerian international is a hugely talented player with great potential and at 21-years of age, he has his best years ahead of him. Having excelled in the Premier League with his all-round abilities, it is rather surprising that Pochettino has loaned him out.

Technically, Bentaleb is one of the most gifted players at the club who has shown previously that he can excel in the advanced positions. His creativity can flourish playing with a proper defensive midfielder and even though he might not have replaced Dembele based on his form, there’s no denying the fact that the Algerian was the perfect man to have had as a backup who can be used alternatively in rotation as Tottenham look to tackle their domestic and European fixtures. Letting go of an academy graduate in Bentaleb would thus also feel a bit confusing for the others at the club and the decision of letting both Mason and Bentaleb leave White Hart Lane can come back to haunt Pochettino later in the season.

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