Tottenham LIVE Q&A: Dan Kilpatrick answers your questions on transfers, team news and more
Welcome to the Evening Standard’s LIVE Q&A with Tottenham correspondent Dan Kilpatrick.
Spurs are back in action this weekend after the winter break, with a season-defining few weeks lying ahead.
A win over Aston Villa this weekend will close the gap to fourth-placed Chelsea to just one point before Manchester United visit Stamford Bridge on Monday and Spurs travel there next weekend.
Before the London derby, there is the first leg of Tottenham Champions League last-16 tie with RB Leipzig to navigate. On paper, the best draw Spurs could have got but also one to fear against a team firmly in the Bundesliga title race despite no win in their last three games.
It’s no rest for Jose Mourinho and Spurs as the derby with Chelsea is followed by Wolves coming to town and then the FA Cup fifth round test against Norwich in early March.
Tottenham correspondent Dan is on hand to answer any Spurs-related question you have. Submit them via Twitter.
Follow our LIVE Q&A below from 2pm…
I’m going to wrap-up the Q&A now, so many thanks for all your questions.
Apologies if I did not get around to answering yours – next time!
Q: Are you expecting a summer rebuild? If so, in which positions? (@xxcoleguy1xx)
A: Mourinho has talked-down the need for a major overhaul since succeeding Pochettino (who was very much in favour of a rebuild, of course) but I’m sure Spurs will be active in the transfer market over the summer. They will look to find buyers for Rose, Walker-Peters, Wanyama and perhaps the likes of Dier (if he doesn’t sign a new contract) and Mourinho will want to begin shaping the squad in his image. He would like three new defenders, including a right-back, and a centre-forward to deputise for Kane. I would personally be targeting a true holding midfield – Hojbjerg perhaps – too.
Q: What is the latest on Dier’s contract? (Reddit user u/whereisthais)
A: Dier’s contract is up in 2021 (although the club is likely to have an option, as with most players) and Spurs want to avoid another player running down their deal, after Eriksen. There have been discussions over a new deal for Dier but, in my opinion, the main reason the club would give him an extension at the moment is to protect his value, rather than as a reward for his form.
Q: What are the facilities like at the training ground? (Reddit user u/frin268)
A: I’m currently in the auditorium at Hotspur Way (in the chair once frequented by Jesus Perez, no less) and I can confirm the facilities are great. I take it for granted now, because I usually cover Spurs, but you really notice the difference when I go to the training grounds of other London clubs. West Ham, Palace and even Arsenal have much older and more tired facilities.
Q: How close is Troy Parrott to getting some first team minutes? (Reddit user u/aigletunisien)
A: Mourinho has made it clear that Parrott is not ready to deputise for Kane and, with the FA Cup getting serious, I think the best the teenager can hope for is a few late cameos from the bench. Spurs were willing to let Parrott leave on loan in January but decided to keep him to ensure that he will count as ‘locally-trained’ if they reach the Champions League next season. That does suggest that Mourinho is planning for a future with the youngster is the squad but he’s only just turned 18, so fans will have to be patient.
Q: Is Wanyama now not good enough to play for Tottenham? (@JV_WhyNot)
A: Sadly, I think Wanyama has no future at Spurs. Injuries – specifically his long-term knee issue – have taken their toll and he no longer looks the same player who dominated the midfield in 2016-17.
Q: Why do Spurs have so much trouble shifting players they dont want? (@FreddyJBear)
A: This has obviously been an issue which has hampered the rebuilding efforts over the last few years. Rightly or wrongly, Daniel Levy does not let players leave on the cheap and the chairman’s determination to get value for money has been a factor in some players staying put. The likes of Rose and Wanyama are also on good contracts – the latter, for example, earns about £60k per week – and have understandably been reluctant to take pay-cuts or a step down. On top of that, the market has been fairly stale for 18 months now.
Q: Are there any players in the squad that are currently being under-utilised and could solve our problems? (Reddit user u/hotsietrotsky)
A: Foyth, perhaps. He’s only played against Bayern and Norwich under Mourinho, so he’s hardly had a fair chance to show what he can do. Various people at Spurs feel he is still very raw – and needs a loan – but he obviously has huge potential to be a modern, technical centre-half who could fill Vertonghen’s boots long-term. He should be back to fitness next week, so it’d be good to see him get some opportunities as the fixtures pile-up.
Q: What academy players are on Mourinho’s radar? Who can we expect to see get first team time soon? (Reddit user u/nivnart)
A: I expect Dennis Cirkin will be the next academy player to be given a first-team debut, although that may have to wait until next season. Young centre-half Malachi Walcott has also been involved in first team training on a number of occasions, so Mourinho has clearly seen something in him.
Q: Are Spurs interested in Ebere Eze? (@Swenty_)
A: Spurs have admired Eze for a while, so I expect he still is on their radar given his form at QPR this season.
Q: Grealish or Maddison a target in the summer? (@ThatOneJuicer)
A: Grealish and Maddison were Spurs targets at different points in the past but I think the club has missed the boat with both. They’d both command huge fees now and I doubt Spurs could compete in a bidding war with the likes of Manchester United. If I had to pick, I’d choose Grealish. He feels very Spurs to me.
Q: Do Amos and Skipp have a future at Tottenham? (Reddit user u/yorsk)
A: Skipp, yes. Mourinho name-checked him today and suggested that Skipp and Tanganga were in similar situations but Skipp’s big opportunity hadn’t come up yet. As for Amos, I very much doubt it. Spurs have so many options in his position now – Gedson the latest – that it is very hard to see a path to the first team for him.
Q: Poch was renowned for his hugs, what’s Jose’s style? (@Icarustumbling)
A: He seems to be a handshake guy but I will keep you posted.
Q: Who would your player of the year be so far? (@TimmyRyan3)
A: It says plenty about Tottenham’s strange season that this is such a difficult question to answer! At the moment, I would probably plump for Alderweireld, who has been a solid and consistent presence in a shaky defence. By the end of the campaign, I expect Lo Celso, Tanganga and perhaps Son could be stronger contenders. And only a fool would completely write off Aurier!
Q: What is the club’s long-term view on Foyth? Could he be loaned out next season or will he be sold? (Reddit’s u/fridgesonfire’)
A: Mourinho was initially impressed by Foyth but his performance against Norwich on December 28 really set him back – and now he is sidelined with a groin injury. Pochettino felt Foyth’s potential was massive and I’m sure the club would love him to be a success. Mourinho, however, is clearly unconvinced and he has now slipped below Tanganga in the pecking order. At this stage, a loan or a permanent exit next summer seems the most likely outcome but plenty can change between now and the end of the season, of course.
Q: Will Jan Vertonghen sign a new contract? (@Tottenham_68)
A: Mourinho said at the end of last year that he wants Vertonghen to sign a new deal and suggested his agent was proving an unwelcome stumbling block in negotiations. Since then, Tanganga has broken through and Vertonghen’s performances have deteriorated, culminating in his unhappy substitution against Saints. This is just my opinion, but it’s becoming harder to see Spurs and Vertonghen come to an agreement and it may be best for all parties if he leaves on a free at the end of the season.
Q: Now Davies is back, what does this mean for Tanganga? (@N17yids1)
A: Mourinho says Davies is still not fit enough to play two or three matches in a row, so I expect Tanganga will start one of Villa or Leipzig as the “inverted left-back”. But he is yet to start for the first-team in his natural position of centre-half, despite impressing as a full-back. Mourinho really values his pace and aggression, so I expect he will be the first reverse in all three positions across the back four once Davies is fully up to speed.
Jose Mourinho has just left the Hotspur Way auditorium following a typically absorbing press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa.
I’m going to be answering your questions for the next 45 minutes or so.
Here’s a write-up of what Mourinho said on his conversation with Dele Alli about the midfielder’s Snapchat video mocking the Coronavirus outbreak.
Mourinho on the winter break
“We had a good week with three very good training sessions.
“Of course, if we didn’t play Southampton we would have been back earlier so we had less time for training but we had three very good days, going through different aspects of our game, trying to improve them.”
Mourinho is a big, big fan of Lo Celso
“He can play everywhere – 10, 8, midfield player with Harry Winks.
“On the right, the left, everywhere. I’m so, so happy with him. I like him very, very much.”
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