Hoddle: Tottenham need to sign this player in January window to fill quality gap

By Tony Hughes

Glenn Hoddle has urged Tottenham to sign a player like Isco in the January window to bring some much-needed creativity into the team.

The former Spurs manager is concerned that Mauricio Pochetino is not able to call on a playmaker in the mould of Mesut Ozil or Eden Hazard.

Dele Alli usually fulfils the No10 role at Spurs but Hoddle is concerned that the 20-year-old is carrying too heavy a burden and needs more help from those around him.

Spurs were strongly linked with a summer move for Real Madrid ace Isco, who has slipped down the pecking order at the club following the arrival of Zinedine Zidane in the dugout.

Hoddle is clear about where Tottenham need to strengthen in the winter window as he ran the rule over his former club ahead of Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal.

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“I’m talking more about the kind of players that Tottenham will face in Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez; or Eden Hazard at Chelsea; and David Silva at Manchester City,” Hoddle wrote in his Mail on Sunday column.

“Leicester had Riyad Mahrez and maybe that was the difference between the teams last season. The kind of player who is really clever and comfortable on the ball and will lift you when it’s a struggle to break a team down.

“Of course, it’s not easy simply to pick up a player like that. There was talk of Isco coming from Real Madrid and maybe he would have helped. But Tottenham at present are relying on Erik Lamela, when he’s back fit, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen to provide that spark.

“To my mind, they need someone with a degree more composure on the ball. Those three all have to be at their very best to give that creativity to Tottenham; and that isn’t the case at present.

“Alli might become that player one day but he’s very young for that burden to be loaded on to him now and at present he isn’t showing enough consistency. That’s inevitable in a 20-year-old with only one full season behind him in the Premier League.

“But in the meantime, Tottenham need to fill this gap by buying. The trouble is, that type of player is usually a signing which will take some time to deliver, not one that can be quickly signed in January.”

Tottenham are unbeaten in their 10 Premier League matches this season but they have failed to record a victory in any of their last six games in all competitions.

Arsenal are the strong favourites for Sunday lunchtime’s Emirates Stadium clash but Spurs will recall two big guns as they aim for their first win in over a month.

In other Tottenham team news, this is the expected starting XI against Arsenal.