Friday, August 12, 2022

Tottenham Hotspur Hopeful Of Signing This International Ace: Can Pochettino Extract The Best Out Of Him?

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Anas Molla
An ageing teenager who apparently still likes Twenty One Pilots and HIMYM. Also fascinated by Greek and Egyptian mythology and history. Still waiting for my man Milos Raonic to win a Grand Slam.

According to Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur are positive on securing the signing of Bruno Fernandes. The Lilywhites are reportedly preparing for life without Christian Eriksen, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United. The Sporting Lisbon midfielder appears as an attractive replacement for the Danish international. But, what does it mean to the Spurs lineup?

A potential sacrifice for Dele Alli

Fernandes is undoubtedly a talented attacking midfielder, who can enhance the overall quality of the Tottenham Hotspur side. But, the Portuguese international brings very little versatility to the table. A number ten by trade, he cannot feature in the wide-attacking role, unlike Christian Eriksen.

And this could turn out to be a massive problem for Dele Alli. The England international was usually Tottenham’s first-choice attacking midfielder, with Eriksen featuring either on the wings or in a deeper midfield role. But, Fernandes’ addition to the club will mean that Alli will have to play elsewhere in attack.

The 23-year-old is quite accustomed to the left-sided midfield role, which seems his likely slot should Fernandes join the club this summer. It remains to be seen whether or not Alli would be useful in that said position.

Tanguy Ndombele may be forced into a deeper role

Alli will not be the only one affected by Fernandes’ potential addition to Spurs as record signing Tanguy Ndombele could also be forced into playing a deeper role. The Frenchman is a central midfielder by trade, who loves to make driving runs into the final third.

However, if Pochettino wishes to deploy both Fernandes and Alli in a central role, Ndombele may have to feature in a deeper role in midfield. Especially in case of a 4-2-3-1, The 22-year-old could form the double pivot alongside Fernandes. But, the ex-Lyon ace will have to stay behind most of the time while the Portuguese will offer extensive creative support in midfield.

Fortunately for Pochettino, Ndombele is quite familiar with the number six position. In fact, he operated in that role several times during his spell at Lyon.

Fernandes could be the ideal replacement for Eriksen

While these steps seem necessary if Pochettino is to extract the best out of Fernandes, the Portuguese will likely be able to repay that faith. The 24-year-old has already shown what he is capable of with his performances in the Liga Primeira as well as the UEFA Nations League.

Fernandes’ ability to thread passes in behind the backline bodes well for the dynamic attackers in the likes of Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura and even Harry Kane. Besides, the Sporting captain is an expert in set-pieces, which could potentially make him a creator-in-chief for the Lilywhites.

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