Could Tom Ince challenge Aaron Lennon for a starting place at Tottenham Hotspur?

The Blackpool player is reportedly a target for both Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool this summer, could a change in formation see him displace Lennon in Andre Villas-Boas’ side?

Whether they snatch a Champions League place or not, this summer will need to be a busy one for Tottenham Hotspur if they wish to keep pace with their rivals at the top of the Premier League. One of their first targets at the end of the season could be Tom Ince, who looks certain to step up to the top flight after a stellar season for Blackpool in the Championship.

Liverpool have also been strongly linked with a move for Ince over the past season, having previously had the 21 year on their books as part of the youth set up at Anfield, but it is Spurs who have reportedly moved ahead in the race for the £6.5million rated player.

How Ince would be used by Villas-Boas will depend on which formation the Portuguese manager opts for next year, having enjoyed some success recently with a 4-3-3 system similar to the one that he used at Porto. Ince is comfortable on either wing, but in a three-pronged attack his best position could well be as an inverted winger on the right side.

Aaron Lennon has had an excellent year at White Hart Lane, with his importance to the team emphasised by their struggles in his recent absence. Ince would certainly at least provide some excellent cover for Spurs wings if brought in this summer, but is there a case for saying he could challenge Lennon for a starting pace in a 4-3-3 formation?

The reason for this is that, for all his qualities, Lennon has never been a prolific goal scorer, whilst Ince has a fine record for Blackpool in this regard, scoring 18 league goals this season.

If Villas-Boas decided on a 4-3-3, both wide forwards would need to be chipping in regularly with goals and there is a question over Lennon's suitability for such a role.

Lennon will almost certainly start next season as first choice on Spurs right flank, but if Ince is also in the squad, then Spurs' number seven might face the most concerted challenge to his first team place he has experienced at Tottenham for several seasons, especially if Villas-Boas makes a permanent change to his formation over the summer.

image: © mafue

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