The appointment of a new head coach at Tottenham Hotspur this summer could very well mean a fresh start for some of those currently on the outside looking in. As is always the case when a new man takes on the hotseat, he will take a look at all the players at his disposal and then make a decision on them ahead of the new campaign.
As things stand, Feyenoord boss Arne Slot is the current odds-on favourite for the Tottenham vacancy. The Dutchman has made a huge impression working at both AZ Alkmaar and Feyenoord and he looks destined to move to the Premier League at some point in the near future.
Slot would most certainly tick a number of boxes for the Lilywhites as his teams play attractive football and he has also completed a major rebuild at Feyenoord after leading them to Eredivisie glory after his squad was blitzed 12 months ago. Either lining up in a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 system, Slot’s team play on the front foot and Tottenham already have the attacking players at the club who could thrive in his setup.
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If it is indeed to be Slot who replaces Antonio Conte in the hotseat, the Dutchman will need to make a decision over the wing-backs currently at the club. Purchasing Djed Spence, Pedro Porro, Ivan Perisic and Destiny Udogie last summer to operate in Conte’s 3-4-3 system, whoever comes in may find themselves in a position where they have to try and convert the wing-backs into full-backs or alternatively play them further upfield.
One player who will be back in N17 this summer is Sergio Reguilon following his season on loan with Atletico Madrid. Making nine appearances for Atleti this campaign, all of which have come from the substitutes’ bench, the left-back has endured an extremely frustrating year through injury and had to watch on from the sidelines as a result.
Making an immediate impression at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with some promising attacking displays following his move from Real Madrid in 2020, the 26-year-old appeared to have all the qualities to play as a wing-back in Conte’s system but his switch to the role just didn’t work out as planned, thus explaining why he was not in the Italian’s thinking for this season and allowed to depart.
A potential switch to playing with full-backs once again could work in the Spaniard’s favour, though, especially with question marks over Tottenham’s current wing-backs heading into next season. One thing that is noticeable from Slot’s Feyenoord team is that his full-backs do more than contribute going forward.
In the 44-year-old’s first full season as manager at De Kuip, Tyrell Malacia, now of Manchester United, chipped in with one goal and five assists from left-back and right-back Marcus Pedersen notched five assists. This season, Quilindschy Hartman, who has progressed from the academy to replace Malacia as left-back, has two goals and four assists from 32 games and Pedersen has one goal and two assists so far.
Those currently out on loan may come into the new head coach’s thinking, with Reguilon’s ability to play at left-back potentially something that could work in his favour heading into next campaign. A new manager does represent a new start for many players and there have been examples in the past where a player has been revitalised having previously looked to be on the way out.
Reguilon has demonstrated that he can have an impact going forward after registering two goals and nine assists in 67 games for Spurs but there was always a feeling that he could have offered more given the attacking side of his game. His experience playing as a left-back could potentially work in his favour next season if it is Slot who comes in and is named as Tottenham’s next manager.
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