That Tottenham Hotspur did not spend three months lamenting the absence of Jan Vertonghen between January and April last season was largely due to the impressive form of Kevin Wimmer, the understudy centre-back rising to the occasion and slotting in comfortably alongside Toby Alderweireld as Spurs kept their title challenge on track over a testing spring period.
This time around, however, Wimmer’s performances have been less assured, Vertonghen’s absence more pronounced. And, according to the Evening Standard, Spurs could listen to offers for the Austrian at the end of the season with Mauricio Pochettino yet to be fully convinced.
Wimmer has only started four Premier League games all season and, in the most recent, he was hauled off at half-time against Manchester City after a torrid first ’45, struggling in particular with his manager’s demands to play out from the back. In the first, meanwhile, he netted a horrific own goal against Arsenal.
On the flipside, however, a trimming of Spurs’ defensive fat could hand a long awaited first-team chance to Cameron Carter-Vickers, the highly-rated centre-back with US roots but a British footballing education.
Aged just 19, Carter-Vickers played a major role in Spurs’ pre-season International Champions Cup campaign and, ever so slowly, is being introduced more regularly into the squad. He’s played four times this season, twice each in the FA and EFL Cups.
“Cameron shows in every session he is at the same level as [Spurs’ other defenders]”, the Argentine told ESPN earlier in the season. "He's in my plans.”
Pochettino has already utilised his expert man-management to intelligently immerse the likes of Harry Kane and Harry Winks into first-team action and, with Spurs looking likely to be one defender down at the end of the season, Carter-Vickers could be the next off the production line.
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