Would a defensive pairing of Eric Dier and Benjamin Stambouli be effective for Spurs?

White Hart Lane 3

Did Tottenham Hotspur miss a trick not playing Benjamin Stambouli further back on the pitch?

According to a report from the Daily Mail, Tottenham Hotspur have rejected a loan offer from Marseille for midfielder Benjamin Stambouli as they would prefer to do business regarding a permanent deal.

The 24-year-old has not had the best of times since arriving at White Hart Lane last summer from French side Montpellier, but those who watched him develop in his homeland would be forgiven for thinking Tottenham are giving up on him too early.

While Stambouli’s pace has come into question, and Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb have been the first-choice midfield pairing for much of the campaign, Tottenham may have missed a trick by not playing the £4million signing elsewhere.

After all, Stambouli first broke into Montpellier’s first-team as a centre-back and his performances in defence showed he is a class act.

He would later feature regularly as a defensive midfielder but when Tottenham were struggling in defence earlier this season, Stambouli could have been the perfect remedy.

At times both Jan Vertonghen and Federico Fazio have disappointed and Stambouli could have done a job alongside either one of them. He could even have formed a potentially effective defensive pairing with Eric Dier, whose pace would have made up for Stambouli’s questionable speed.

Together those two players could have formed a defence that may have proved every bit as effective as Fazio’s and Vertonghen’s when the two players were both on song.

Instead, Stambouli has had to get used to a bit-part role, but there is still time, if Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino takes a chance. But the arrival of Kevin Wimmer means even that alternative role may have been lost to the Frenchman.

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