By Harvey Byrne
Former Scotland international and Sky Sports pundit Andy Walker feels that Tottenham have to strengthen the centre-back position in January.
The north London side were left with Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier in their defence against Manchester City on Saturday following injuries to key men Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
The former had missed the clash following an injury picked up earlier in the month against West Brom, while Alderweireld left the match prematurely with a hamstring injury.
It has since been reported by the Standard that Spurs have identified Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia as a potential January buy and Walker believes he would be a good addition.
Additionally, Walker believes a centre-back is a must for Tottenham this window if they are to challenge for the title, stating the defensive position is currently a problem area for Spurs.
“I don’t think they have,” started Walker speaking on Sky Sports News’ Tuesday morning Transfer Centre show.
“I think it’s a problem for Tottenham because their ambitions are big. I think they’ve got one eye on the title. This could be the year they could do it. If Chelsea are to have a slip could Tottenham take advantage?
“I saw Ranocchia play at the start of the season funnily enough. We did a game over in Ireland when Inter Milan were playing Celtic and Ranocchia was there and he looks the type of player that could make a seamless transition to the aggressiveness of the English Premier League.
“I think he’d be a decent signing, he’s certainly got ability and I think Tottenham have to strengthen there. You can’t afford to wait too long before those big players Vertonghen and Alderweireld are fit again.”
Tottenham currently have the second best defensive record in the Premier League, with league leaders Chelsea the only team ahead of them by one goal.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has switched to a three man defence in recent matches, which has brought great success.
The formation requires three centre-backs in the team, but without Alderweireld and Vertonghen the club are left with Dier, Kevin Wimmer, Ben Davies and Cameron Carter-Vickers in the central defensive position.
Football Insider verdict:
When looking at the Tottenham back four without Vertonghen and Alderweireld it does look astonishingly weak. However, Wimmer has experienced a severe lack of game time this season due to the star duo performing consistently to such a high level. A centre-back for Spurs in January would be very much a short-term signing, but in the long run questions have to be asked if it is needed for the club. There aren’t many weak areas in this current Spurs team and if they were to bring in a centre-back this window they may be paying out more wages for a player who plays very little in the future. Sticking with an up and coming player like Carter-Vickers may be the best way for the club to go financially.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Spurs are eyeing this Serie A teenage goal machine.