Recent reports have suggested Vlad Chiriches could be on his way out of Tottenham Hotspur, with the player himself admitting he was unhappy with his lack of game-time.
The Romanian defender has featured far more in the last few weeks, with Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino picking him to start matches against Everton and Chelsea after he impressed as a substitute against Hull City last month.
Chiriches may be more commonly used as a centre-back but his stint at right-back suggested there could still be a place for him at White Hart Lane. And yet Talk Sport reported on Friday that Roma were considering an £8million move in January, thus throwing his future into doubt once more.
But having featured in what has been a problem position for Tottenham since the long-term absence of Kyle Walker, Chiriches is only likely to leave White Hart Lane this season if Walker himself can prove he is fit and ready to feature regularly.
If that is the case, Tottenham have enough cover in Kyle Naughton and Eric Dier to allow Chiriches to move on. But if Pochettino has his doubts over just how much football Walker can play this season following his return from a pelvic injury, the Romanian may have done enough to convince his manager he is the most viable alternative to the England international.
Naughton’s inclusion in Tottenham’s match-day squad prompts mixed reactions from supporters while Dier has failed to kick on from his sterling start to life in North London. And as Pochettino continues his worryingly long search for his best starting line-up, Walker could well hold the key to whether Chiriches stays or goes.
Summer signing DeAndre Yedlin has been tipped to move to White Hart Lane in January rather than next summer, but despite his impressive form in MLS, he could still take time to settle, which has been a problem for Spurs in recent times - too many players settling at any one time and not enough actually settled.
If Chiriches is now in the latter category, it may be wise to keep hold of him for a little longer.