Tottenham Hotspur could give debuts to two of their summer signings when they face Sunderland.
What a difference 12 months can make. Last summer Tottenham Hotspur signed a whole host of new players as they reinvested the money they received for the world-record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
It is fair to say some of those new arrivals were more succesful than others, but just a year – and two managers – later, Tottenham have gone about their business very different.
Mauricio Pochettino has made canny rather than headline signings, and two of those players are in line for their debuts this weekend. Here we take a look at who could have the most impact, both in the match against Sunderland and over the season as a whole.
Argentine Fazio was tipped to make his debut against Liverpool, but that did not happen and now he could well make his bow against the Black Cats.
The former Sevilla player may have reportedly been second choice – behind Mateo Musacchio – but he has considerable experience and could feature in a Spurs defence that shipped three in their defeat to the Reds last time out.
In the short term, Fazio will take time to get used to his new teammates but he could ultimately form an effective central-defensive partnership with Jan Vertonghen…although Younes Kaboul could have something to say about that.
Stambouli is the player who could surprise everyone this season. Signed for a cut-price fee, he has the confidence and the defensive nous to excel in his deep midfield position. He has an eye for a pass and has previously played as a defender, which allows him to read the game better than other defensive midfielders.
With many of Tottenham’s players on international duty this week, Stambouli could well be seen as a fresh alternative and he could play a big role against Sunderland.
Over the season, expect him to quietly shine in a similar way to Fernando at Manchester City.