Dominic Ball celebrates
Mauricio Pochettino has suggested that Dominic Ball could be part of his plans next season, in what will come as a blow to Rangers' hopes of luring the defender back to Ibrox.
The 20-year old made his first senior appearance for Spurs in Tuesday’s friendly defeat to Juventus and despite being at fault for the first goal, Pochettino was impressed with his overall performance.
"I'm very happy because when you make a mistake after five minutes of the game, it's difficult to forget," he said, in quotes published by ESPN.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
"The way we play we give a lot of responsibility to our centre-backs and today Cameron and Ball behaved very well and I'm very happy... In front of them was Juventus."
The Argentine confirmed that Spurs will look to add to the signings of Vincent Janssen and Victor Wanyama this summer but claimed that he won’t be strengthening central defence – name-checking Ball as one of his options.
"I expect some signings in the next few weeks," said Pochettino, in quotes published by the London Evening Standard.
"…Vertonghen is very close to coming back. Wimmer, Alderweireld - and Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama - can play centre-back. And then we have young players like Carter-Vickers and Ball. We have enough players in that position.”
Celtic's Stefan Johansen in action with Dominic Ball
Ball enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Ibrox last year and Rangers are interested in bringing him back up North, according to the Scottish Sun.
His involvement with Tottenham’s senior squad might throw a spanner in the works however and, if rated highly enough by Pochettino, he may well be kept around as cover for the coming season.
Fellow young centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers has also impressed and is considered to have the most potential out of the two, meaning Spurs could let Ball leave if the right offer comes along.
Rangers manager Mark Warburton
The Gers have been shrewd in the transfer market this summer and would look to secure another loan deal for Ball rather than pay the considerable transfer fee Tottenham would demand.
It’s unclear whether Spurs would sanction such a move or whether they would prefer Ball to go out on loan to a Championship or lower Premier League side in England.
After a year of regular football in front of large crowds with Rangers it’s doubtful Ball would be willing to spend next season among Tottenham’s reserves, and Mark Warburton will feel hopeful he can reunite with the promising youngster once again.