The de Boer influence: FIVE players Frank could bring to Spurs

Toby Alderweireld

A Dane, a Belgian and three Dutchmen who could be delighting crowds next season at Tottenham Hotspur.

Unless you’ve been festering under a wi-fi-less log for the past few days you’ll know that current Ajax boss, Frank de Boaer, who has lead the Amsterdammers to four successive Eredivisie titles, is the current favourite to replace Tim Sherwood as the Tottenham boss.

The London club’s interest was confirmed by de Boer himself on Dutch TV on Tuesday, April 29 and talks are even under way to bring Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp and influential coach Hennie Spijkerman with him to Spurs.

De Boer’s appointment will obviously signal a change in playing style and personnel, with the elegant Dutch manager no doubt keen to bring some of his former Ajax charges and countrymen with him to help North London’s so-called ‘sleeping giants’ make a B-line for the elusive top four.

Here we discuss 5 likely players who might fit the bill at de Boer’s White Hart Lane…

Joël Veltman

Club: Ajax

Position: Centre-back

Relationship with de Boer: Has grown immeasurably as both a footballer and a leader under de Boer and Ajax assistant coach, Jaap Stam, culminating in his first Holland cap last November.

Availability: Marc Overmars, Ajax’s director of football, has been quite open and blunt concerning the transfer of Veltman away from the Amsterdam Arena. “I will fight to keep Veltman,” he gushed. “Veltman is a sensation. We never expected him to make such an amazing breakthrough at top level.” The correct bundle of pounds sterling may force his hand.

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Viktor Fischer

Club: Ajax

Position: Winger

Relationship with de Boer: Has developed into one of the hottest properties on the continent under de Boer’s stewardship who recognised his talent and versatility and gently squeezed the best out of him.

Availability: No club wants to sell goals and Fischer netted ten in 21 Eredivisie starts last season . It’s been reported that he’s been offered to Liverpool at the end of the season but we all know how easy it’s been to gazump the Reds in transfer business of late. Depends how much Spurs want him. And how much de Boer rates Andros Townsend and Aaron Lennon, players in a similar mould.

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Toby Alderweireld

Club: Atletico Madrid

Position: Centre-back/Right-back

Relationship with de Boer: The athletic Belgian played under de Boer at Ajax before his well-documented transfer to Spain last summer and both hold one another in high regard.

Availability: Alderweireld recently mused “I miss Ajax, their style of play, my ex-teammates... At Atleti, I can’t be happy if I’m not playing.” Will surely make a move in the summer. Though his performance at the World Cup may yet determine which club he ends up at. May covet the spotlight and violins of the Champions League.

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Davy Klaassen

Club: Ajax

Position: Attacking midfielder/Forward

Relationship with de Boer: Made his way through the famous Ajax youth ranks after joining the club at 11 years of age and eventually broke into the first team in 2011, de Boer’s second year at the club. De Boer has described him as both “very talented” and a “smart guy” and, considering his physique, intelligence and position, inevitable comparisons have been made to Dennis Bergkamp.

Availability: Has an irrefutably strong bond with de Amsterdammers, and would surely find it tough to follow his current boss out the door, especially with a lack of Champions League football at Tottenham. With de Boer at the helm though, it is a possibility. Also thought to be of interest to Liverpool and Arsenal.

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Martin Stekelenburg

Club: Fulham

Position: Goalkeeper

Relationship: Spent a season with de Boer at Ajax before joining Roma, and was a trusted, sought-after stickman. Would only be in the equation should Hugo Lloris demand a move.

Availability: Has faced a torrid time at Fulham and was recently replaced by David Stockdale for the recent crucial relegation dogfights. If Hugo Lloris were to leave the Lane in search of Champions League football, de Boer could turn to his countryman and reinvigorate him. Regardless of Fulham’s status next season, you’d think Spurs would be able to get their man.

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