Tottenham Hotspur may face a problem with their World Cup players.
Tottenham Hotspur should be proud of the fact that they had the most players in the semi-finals of the World Cup of any club in the world, but it could also present Mauricio Pochettino with a problem.
Spurs had Hugo Lloris, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Danny Rose, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele Dele Alli and Harry Kane in the final four, with all nine representing their countries in the final stages of the World Cup.
However, all nine players are now set to return to the club late this summer, with Football.London suggesting that it may even be as late as August 4th – just a week before the start of the season – until they are back with Spurs, with England’s stars a particular concern given that there are five players involved.
Tottenham won't want to open the season with so many players missing, and that potential nightmare should force manager Mauricio Pochettino to consider altering the club's transfer plans this summer.
Tottenham have been linked with a number of players currently at the World Cup, and Pochettino may be better off looking to players who will be ready and raring to go for the start of the season.
Marca Colombia claim that Spurs are pursuing Boca Juniors star Wilmar Barrios after his displays for Colombia this summer, whilst Bild report that Tottenham are also keen on signing Eintracht Frankfurt's Ante Rebic, who featured for Croatia against England last night.
However, with Rebic set for a late return from the World Cup too, and Barrios surely only available at the same time as Colombia teammate and Spurs star Davidson Sanchez, late in July, Pochettino may be wise to focus on targeting players who haven’t been playing in Russia.
The likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Adrien Rabiot, Tanguy Ndombele, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Jack Grealish, Anthony Martial and Wilfried Zaha have all missed the World Cup and would certainly be available for the opening of the Premier League season, making them potentially ideal targets for Pochettino to ensure Spurs aren’t left too short in the early stages of the season whilst their World Cup stars recover from their Russian trip.