By Darren Bent

19th Sep, 2020 | 12:34pm

'Mourinho's scratching his head' - Exclusive: Bent singles out big Spurs problem v Southampton

Darren Bent claims that Jose Mourinho does not know who to start in midfield for Tottenham ahead of their clash with Southampton on Sunday.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and England hitman admits none of the Portuguese manager’s current options have stood out among their teammates.

Mourinho started Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Harry Winks and Dele Alli in the 1-0 defeat against Everton, although he hooked the latter of the trio off at half time.

Bent believes that Spurs’ big problem lies in the middle of the pitch and that none of the club’s midfielders can consider themselves established in the starting XI.

Bent told Football Insider: “Their problem is in the middle of the park. I don’t think they quite know what to do, whether to go with two holders and one floater or one holder and two floaters.

“Honestly, in the middle of the park, because no one’s really stepped up and gone: ‘Right, I’ll take that role’ – I like Lo Celso, I like Winks, they’ve got Sissoko, Dele Alli, Ndombele who’s just scored, maybe that will kick start his season.

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“But no one’s really gone: ‘Right, this midfield slot’s mine now and it’s who you fit around me, I’m going to be the main man.’ Because no one’s done that, Mourinho’s scratching his head and going: ‘What do I do?’ He’s tried Eric Dier in there, he doesn’t know what to do.” 

Mourinho started Giovani Lo Celso, Hojbjerg and Sissoko in their Europa League qualifier against Lokomotiv Plovdiv, while Tanguy Ndombele came off the bench to score the winner.

The Lilywhites will follow up Sunday’s visit to Southampton with a trip to Leyton Orient in the League Cup on Tuesday.

In other Tottenham news, a top manager claims a Spurs star will be having “sleepless nights” after one-to-one chat with Mourinho.