Five things we learned from Tottenham's MLS All-Stars defeat

Tottenham WHL

The friendly - played at 2:15am this morning - finished 2-1 to the MLS All-Stars and gave an insight into some of Spurs' plans for next season.

1) Eric Dier will be utilised in central midfield

Much has been made of Spurs’ lack of options in the centre of the pitch after the sale of four midfielders this summer, but this morning’s game could be an indication as to why Mauricio Pochettino was so willing to let them go.

Eric Dier started the match and played 63 minutes in a holding midfield role alongside Nabil Bentaleb first, and Dele Alli later on. He cut a composed figure and while his passing isn’t the most expansive and his feet not the most agile – he provides a physical presence and true defensive mind-set that has been missing in that area for Spurs.

2) Dele Alli will play a prominent role in the first team

The hype around Alli is well documented and the 19-year old has thrived in League One but doubts remained about whether he could make the step up to Spurs’ first team next season.

His second half appearance put an end to those doubts as he displayed all the elegance and drive that has seen him showered with plaudits in the lower leagues.

Alli looked comfortable under the spotlight - issuing orders to his team-mates and seeking to get on the ball as often as possible - and a few storming runs gave a glimpse into the box-to-box midfielder he could yet become for Spurs.

3) Kyle Walker’s first-team spot is in real danger

Kieran Trippier replaced Kyle Walker at half-time and the former Burnley man displayed all the traits that convinced Pochettino to make a move for him.

Defensively he was sound but it’s his quality of delivery that will have Spurs fans most excited. The 24-year old marauded down the right whipping in countless dangerous crosses - both from the byline and from deeper angles - that are sure to have Harry Kane licking his lips in anticipation.

Kyle Walker meanwhile, was efficient if unspectacular and probably finds himself second in the pecking order after last night’s game.

4) Spurs’ academy graduates are ready to make an impact

With talks of loan moves for several academy products, a few of them took last night’s opportunity to prove that they should be kept around next season.

Harry Winks and Tom Carroll impressed in particular, with Carroll once again displaying the telepathic rapport he has with Harry Kane when deployed in the number 10 role.

Josh Onomah was also well involved after his introduction and should have scored an equaliser after a sublime passing move involving Winks, Carroll, Alli and Kane.

5) DeAndre Yedlin needs a loan move

With Trippier and Walker locked in battle for the right-back spot, Pochettino experimented with Yedlin on the right wing – a position he has had success in for the US national team.

The experiment was largely unsuccessful, with Trippier and Yedlin consistently getting in each other’s way and crowding out the right-hand side.

Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1 system requires inverted wingers with overlapping full-backs, and unless he feels Yedlin can adapt to an unfamiliar left-wing role, a loan move looks to be the only solution for next season at least.

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