Antonio Conte has been told he needs to call time on two Tottenham players regarded by one observer as simply not good enough to play for Spurs.
The Italian coach takes something of a no-nonsense approach and is seen as a tough discplinarian. Indeed, if players are not deemed up to standard, he quickly dispenses with their services in his quest to be the best.
And with the January transfer window looming large, Conte is busy finalising plans to strengthen his squad. He used the January window to good affect last year, signing Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski to help Spurs secure fourth.
To that end, the Spurs manager will be hoping to use the winter window to boost his squad in a similar fashion this time around. Indeed, Saturday’s Transfer Gossip claims Conte is looking to sign two players, including a surprise link for a Leicester man, with six players on his shopping list.
In order to finance such spending, though, a number of players may have to depart.
The club are reportedly due to hold talks with Napoli over a cut-price sale of Tannguy Ndombele. The £54m signing from Lyon has struggled throughout his time in north London but seemingly has his mojo back in Naples. As a result, a permanent move to the Gli Azzurri looks likely to go through.
There are seemingly quite a few other places on the chopping block too. Both Bryan Gil and Pape Sarr are reportedly in line for loan moves to Spain.
But two players that Noel Whelan is adamant that Spurs should dispose of permanently are Davinson Sanchez and Japhet Tanganga.
Conte advised to dump Tangana and Sanchez
The two defenders have found game-time hard to come by this season. Indeed, Tanganga has featured in just two matches all season.
Sanchez, meanwhile, is reportedly being tipped to be used as a makeweight to help secure a deal for a trusted former Conte lieutenant. The Colombian has started just seven games across all competitions this season.
Discussing their January business and who they need to replace, Whelan told Football Insider why time should be up for the pair.
“I don’t think they need forward players, and the midfield looks happy.
“The question mark has always been at the back. The centre-backs, the wing-backs – this is where the conversation is.
“We know they’ve got brilliant attackers, but they’re leaking goals.
“If they had a solid defence, they could probably be up there challenging for the title.
“I think Conte will be desperate to bolster that area. Tanganga has had opportunities but he’s not good enough, Davinson Sanchez is the same – I think they need replacing.
“Ivan Toney terrorised them. The only way they can improve is by getting that defence sorted.”
Whelan makes a valid point. Tottenham have scored 33 times this season with only Arsenal and Man City registering more. But defensively, they have shipped a worrying 23 times. That is the most of any side in the top eight. By contrast, fellow top-four hopefuls Newcastle have let in just 11 goals so far prior to their game with Leeds on Saturday afternoon.
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