Tottenham will likely spend “big money” on an ultra-quick new centre-back this summer. 

That is according to ex-Premier League forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively after Football Insider revealed that Spurs have made recruiting a pacy central defender their top transfer priority.

That comes after this site revealed last Monday that club-record signing Davinson Sanchez, 24, is up for sale. 

Whelan witnessed Tottenham fall to a 3-1 defeat at Elland Road in person last Saturday as part of his media duties with BBC Radio Leeds.

He was unimpressed with what he saw, claiming that the performances of Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld hammered home the need for a speedy new centre-half.

“They are definitely missing that pace,” he told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

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“Dier didn’t look like he could cope with Patrick Bamford, let alone your Manes and Salahs.

“There is a lack of intensity there at Tottenham and certainly a lack of speed at the back.

“That was Aurier as well. When you saw him against Harrison, he got taken to the cleaners every time he was one on one.

“Alderweireld couldn’t cope with the pace either. So yeah, I think there’s a massive lack of pace back there. I would be surprised if they didn’t do something about it, and sign a quick centre-back. 

“If they are going to go down that route it’s going to cost big money. But it will be well worth it when you look at what Liverpool did with Van Dijk.”

Sanchez has fallen out of favour since Ryan Mason’s appointment as caretaker boss in mid-April.

He has not featured in any of Spurs’ last 7 matches, with Dier, Alderweireld and to a lesser extent Joe Rodon ahead of him in the pecking order.

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