Tottenham have been backed to adopt a ruthless approach and axe six first-team stars in January including two who have started a combined 19 league matches this term.
Spurs’ season thus far has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. They sit comfortably inside the top four having won nine from 15 in the league, though have rarely dominated their opponents as a record of that calibre would suggest.
On the Champions League front, Tottenham took it to the final group match and had to come from behind away at Marseille to book their place in the knockout rounds.
Going behind has been a familiar foible this season. Although Antonio Conte’s side have at least shown they’re more than capable of fighting back as the match wears on.
Spurs have backed their enigmatic Italian boss in recent windows. And that is a trend that’s expected to continue moving forward. Indeed, a potential triple January raid was recently touted that’d include two more arrivals from Serie A.
But for Spurs to continue making wholesale additions, the fat in their squad must first be trimmed.
On that front, Spurs insider, John Wenham, has backed Fabio Paratici and co. to axe no fewer than six first-teamers in January.
Speaking to Football Insider, Wenham broke the six-strong list down into two categories – those already surplus to requirements and out on loan, and those in north London who aren’t fit for purpose.
“Any players that are on loan who have no future at the club need to go in January, [Giovani] Lo Celso for one,” Wenham told Football Insider.
“[Joe] Rodon, [Tanguy] Ndombele, they are the three who have no future. It’s just about finding permanent buyers for them.”
Tottenham loanees excelling away from north London
Lo Celso is currently on loan at Villarreal, while Rodon and Ndombele are at Rennes and Napoli respectively. All three loans are season-long affairs.
Villarreal are known to want to sign Lo Celso outright with the Argentine continuing to impress in Spain.
Rennes have an option to buy centre-half Rodon who has made 14 appearances across all competitions in France.
Napoli, meanwhile, can sign Ndombele for €30m at season’s end. And the Frenchman has proved a useful squad player for a side who lead Serie A by eight points.
All three could conceivably leave in 2023, though look likelier to do so in the summer, not January.
On the second trio of Wenham’s six-man list, the Tottenham insider named wing-backs Ryan Sessegnon, Matt Doherty and Emerson Royal.
Sessegnon and Emerson in particular have featured heavily this season with 19 combined league starts to their names.
However, Wenham doesn’t believe any of the trio have what it takes to be regular starters for a team hoping to challenge for top honours under Conte.
How long can Spurs cling to Sessegnon potential?
“Then you move on to the full-backs that aren’t capable,” Wenham continued.
“Emerson Royal and or Matt Doherty, I would personally sell them both. I just don’t think they are at the required level.
“Someone who you might think this is harsh, Ryan Sessegnon. You can talk about potential but he signed in 2019 and has no played under Poch, Mourinho, Mason, Nuno and Conte.
“At what point does it stop being potential? I remember reports a while ago that we were going to offer him a new contract.
“It’s interesting that all of that talk has now gone away. He has a deal until 2024 so we have a decision to make there, I would move him on.
“He’s not at the level to play in a system where the ability for the wing-backs to offer you creativity is imperative.”
While Wenham raises some valid points, it’s important to remember any players sold will need to be replaced.
Tottenham aren’t a club with limitless funds and with superstars like James Maddison in their sights, they’ll have to make do with certain players currently in their squad – even if they’re not of the desired quality.
READ MORE: Antonio Conte has decision to make as Tottenham star who wants to play ‘at a high level’ will ‘leave for free’
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