Here are four midfield talents Tottenham could consider this summer, including an Everton star, a Liverpool target, a PSG prospect, and a Germany international.
Tottenham have been doing a very good job of selling all of their defensive midfielders in the last year.
Jake Livermore went to Hull last summer, just a year after Tom Huddlestone departed, while fan favourite Sandro made the switch to QPR in September. This summer the club have already sold two international midfielders for big money, both of whom have played deep during their time at the club, with Paulinho and Etienne Capoue already sold to Guangzhou Evergrande and Watford respectively, while even Lewis Holtby has completed a permanent move away from White Hart Lane. Benjamin Stambouli is also said to be on the cusp of joining Capoue at the Hornets according to Sky Sports.
Astonishingly, that is six first team central midfielders that have left the club in the last year, five of whom are internationals. In that time, only Dele Alli and the likely departing Stambouli have joined.
What this means is that either Mauricio Pochettino is be happy with what he has at the club in central midfield, despite a lack of a natural defensive minded midfielder, or he is optimistic about a transfer target or two.
Below we have listed four players the Argentine could be keeping his eye on, all of whom tick the former Southampton man's desire to sign young, dynamic players that can also contribute to attack:
James McCarthy (Everton): The only player on the list with Premier League experience, the Republic of Ireland international has six years of regular top flight football in his locker, despite being just 24. McCarthy may be the most expensive target for Spurs given that Everton would be reluctant to sell him to a Premier League rival, but there are clear advantages of going for a player who is tried and tested in the division, and he is reported to be on the club's shortlist as per the Mirror.
Adrien Rabiot (PSG): Rabiot is by far the youngest player here at 20-years-old, and he has already kicked up a bit of a fuss in his short career, which nearly saw the Frenchman departing the French champions before he signed a new contract last November. Has exhibited plenty of promise despite struggling to get as many minutes as he'd have surely liked last season. Could be the cheapest, and most promising option, and has been linked to White Hart Lane several times already, including recently in the Telegraph.
Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund): The Germany international had a difficult season last year with Dortmund, playing regularly as they struggled early on, but then missing much of their resurgence in latter months through injury and being dumped on the bench. Bender is clearly a top midfield player, and may now be as available as he's ever been with Dortmund out of the Champions League in the coming campaign.
Asier Illarramendi (Real Madrid): The Spaniard cost big money when he moved to the Bernabeu in 2013, but he has yet to claim a role anywhere near the club's starting lineup, finding himself way down the selection list despite clocking up token appearances. Liverpool are rumoured to be chasing the classy former Real Sociedad man by the Mirror, with comparisons to a young Xabi Alonso helping the cause somewhat, but despite Rafa Benitez's presence at Real, surely that 'strategic partnership' has to be of some use to the North Londoners at some point.