Five central midfield alternatives for Tottenham, after interest in Sven Bender cools

The need for an addition in the centre of the pitch has become apparent after Spurs' disappointing start to the season.

Reports emerged today, via the London Evening Standard, that Mauricio Pochettino is having doubts over whether to pursue Borussia Dortmund’s Sven Bender, given his long-running injury troubles.

The 26-year old is seemingly a perfect fit for Spurs but we have compiled a list of five alternatives, should the Lilywhites end their pursuit.

Asier Illarramendi

The out-of-favour Real Madrid man has been strongly linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, by the likes of the Liverpool Echo, and it’s easy to see why Brendan Rodgers is interested.

The diminutive 25-year old is a combative defensive midfielder, in the truest sense of the word, but still possesses sound technical and passing ability – as is to be expected from a Spanish international.

Failing to break into Real’s star-studded line-up is no slight on him either and the arrival of Mateo Kovacic has pushed him even closer to a Bernabeu exit.

Adrien Rabiot

The temperamental Frenchman is seemingly as volatile as he is gifted and has been at the centre of a row with PSG over his lack of first team action.

A loan move to White Hart Lane was touted in January but never materialised, and links to Arsenal have since emerged, with the players agent reportedly contacting the Gunners in the hope of initiating a move before the close of the window.

PSG are reluctant to let such a talent leave but his protestations could force their hand should he remain behind Blaise Matuidi and Marco Verratti in the pecking order.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg

It’s a similar scenario with Bayern’s Danish prodigy. A lack of first-team action has seen the 20-year old linked with a move away this summer, with Spurs among his suitors – according to Kicker.

Like PSG, Bayern will be reticent to let one of their most promising youngsters go, but their abundance of world class central midfielders will prevent the Danish international from earning a first-team spot and he may soon demand an exit.

Leon Goretzka

The Schalke youngster is another in the seemingly endless supply of young German stars and his commanding performances at the heart of midfield have drawn praise from all quarters.

At over 6’2, the 20-year old is a real presence and is as comfortable breaking up play as he is driving forward and contributing to the attack.

Southampton have shown interest this summer – as reported by Eurosport – and the German club are sure to demand a substantial fee for one of their main assets.

Victor Wanyama

The Kenyan has transitioned seamlessly into Premier League football since his big-money move from Celtic in 2013 and has been one of the league’s most consistent defensive midfielders over the past two seasons.

Comfortable playing at centre-back, Wanyama prioritises the defensive side of the game and utilises his powerful presence to full effect and possesses an underrated technical ability.

Southampton have shown a willingness to part with their key men in recent seasons but would surely be reluctant to lose their two main central midfielders in the same transfer window following Morgan Schneiderlin's switch to Manchester United.

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