Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with more midfielders in January, but they need to use the ones they've already bought.
Even before life under Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur has a reputation for being serial midfield signers. Not one transfer window can pass without whoever is in charge of Spurs being linked with a whole host of players to patrol the middle of White Hart Lane.
The only problem with this strategy is that they are now being linked with new players before they even get a chance to utilise the players they already have in the squad.
We are only 11 games into the new season and Pochettino has been linked with a whole host of names for the January window. Morgan Schneiderlin will be the headline move; there is also the possibility of former Newcastle United maestro Yohan Cabaye being available in January after his form for Paris Saint-Germain has significantly dipped.
This season, Pochettino’s preferred pairing has been Etienne Capoue and Ryan Mason, with Nabil Bentaleb and Moussa Dembele playing some part in the season so far.
Bentaleb was meant to be the next big thing after graduating through the Spurs youth side and staring for Algeria at international level. He has managed three starts, but only 218 minutes. However, that is a world away from the situation that both Paulinho and Benjamin Stambouli currently find themselves.
The Brazilian made 30 appearances last season and was included in Luiz Filipe Scolari’s 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup. He only has one appearance to his name this season, and that was a 29 minute cameo.
You could understand and say he wasn’t one of Pochettino’s guys. Perhaps the new coach just doesn’t like what he brings to the team. The Argentine coach can’t say the same for Benjamin Stambouli.
The Frenchman joined the club from Montpellier this summer, but he has only played 20 minutes of action in the Premier League this campaign. Stambouli left the south of France as the captain of La Paillade, well respected and with the world somewhat at his feet.
Now he is restricted to appearances in the Europa League. This is not what he signed up for when he made the jump across the channel.
Instead of showing interest in failing PSG midfielders or the newest wonder-kid from Germany, Spurs and Pochettino should look at maximising the potential of the players they already have on board. There is no point in spending more cash on a position where they have players they have already signed and failed to use.
Stambouli is just one example of one player this season, but it’s not a one off. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Sandro, Niko Kranjcar, Tom Huddlestone and Teemu Tainio would have a good idea what Stambouli is feeling at the moment.