Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino will need to decide on settled centre-backs for next season.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino deserves some credit for getting some of his key transfer business out of the way early, which gives him a chance to work with new players and a chance for those new individuals to gel with the rest of the quad.
Pochettino has gone heavy in terms of improving the back four and giving himself extra options in that area of the team, which will make his team selection across Tottenham’s backline very interesting.
He has to get his centre-back partnership right, because it’s a vital area in terms of the structure and integrity of the team.
We’ve taken a look at a few possible options.
Prediction (Suggested pecking order): Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dier, Fazio, Wimmer
The likely partnership
The partnership that Pochettino will most likely look to develop is one between new signing Toby Alderweireld and current centre back Jan Vertonghen.
They both have Premier League experience, with Vertonghen also possessing leadership abilities which will help the entire back four to stay more balance and organised under pressure.
They complement each other well with Vertonghen’s height and strength offering something a bit different in comparison to Alderweireld’s pace.
The back-up partnership
If Alderweireld isn’t in a position to start the season, Eric Dier may resume his role in the back four alongside Vertonghen.
Dier has made it clear in the past that he wants to focus on playing through the middle of defence and with Pochettino benefiting from multiple options at right-back, there’s no reason for him to alter the position of the Englishman.
Dier and Vertonghen already have experience of playing together from last season.
The alternative partnerships
The centre back options don’t just stop at Alderweireld, Dier and Vertonghen, with Kevin Wimmer and Federico Fazio also offering options through the heart of the defence.
Fazio has struggled to find his best form at the club, while Wimmer may need time to get up to speed with the Premier League and English football.
However, there’s no reason they each can’t play with the trio mentioned above or with each other if Pochettino needs to go down that route.