Tottenham Club Focus – January transfer window Part 2 – The defence

Tottenham Hotspur’s fine run of form that has seem them concede just 11 goals in their last 15 league games. The current starters have given a defensive meanness and solidity to Spurs that has underpinned the run. At centre back and in goal there is experienced cover in William Gallas, Michael Dawson and Carlo Cudicini. After that though, could the defence lack depth with Vedran Corluka, Sebastien Bassong looking to leave in search of first team football? With Danny Rose cover at left back, perhaps needing a loan to gain experience in the position, manager Harry Redknapp may have some difficult decisions ahead.

Heurelho Gomes, whose contract ends in June 2012, [as does Cudicini’s], may declare his intention in January to leave on a Bosman. With potential departures in the summer and Friedel entering the final year of his contract, next month may be an opportunity to enter the market, even if the ‘keeper is loaned back to their current club.

Candidates – Tim Krul, 26, and Michael Vorm, 28 have excelled this season in the Premier League, with some spectacular stops and a saves to shots on goal percentage of 68% & 77% respectively and in goalkeeping terms have plenty of years ahead of them.

The Statement – 19 years old Andre ter Stegen, 1st choice of fourth placed Borussia Moenchengladbach is already making headlines. Thrown into the team looking at relegation at the end of last season he conceded just three goals in six games. The form has continued this season with only 11 goals conceded and 52 of the 63 shots on his goal saved, including seven saves in his team’s win at Bayern Munich. With his command of the area being compared to Peter Schmeichel, reflex saves, aerial ability and coolness under pressure, the German could soon be acknowledged as a world class keeper.

The Back Four
Harry Redknapp could be concerned going into the second half of the season with four centre backs and being reliant on Gallas, Dawson and Ledley King all staying injury free. This may dictate a centre back being bought in January, even though the impressive Steven Caulker returns from loan in the summer. If Corluka and Rose leave as well, and full back position needing cover the choice may be whether to recruit a utility player or specialists.

Candidates – The experienced Alex will be leaving Chelsea and may wish to stay in London. Jan Vertonghen, the Ajax captain has the versatility to cover several positions but the Ajax defence not ranked in the Eredivise top 5 and whilst there are apparent doubts over the Belgian’s consistency, at 24years old he should improve.

The Statement – At centre back Christopher Samba has excelled over the last few seasons in arguably a poor team. A 142 clearances, good tackle, interception and pass success rates this season along with his command of the box in the air may make him an excellent addition. As may Jose Bosingwa, with only 6 months left on his current contract, may be available for a nominal fee. Experienced in the Premier League and able to cover both full back positions, his capture from rivals should send a strong message.

Read Tottenham Club Focus – January transfer window Part 1 – Click here

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