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Tottenham: Return of Parker Adds to Midfield Depth During Holiday Fixtures

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21:  Scott Parker of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at White Hart Lane on March 21, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2012

Tottenham Hotspur are about to receive a huge boost to their squad with the impending return of England international, Scott Parker. 

Parker played a full 90 minutes for the Spurs reserves team this week and should make his season debut in the first team within the next few weeks. 

The English midfielder is recovering from an operation on his Achilles in August, but he may not be guaranteed a starting position in manager Andre Villas-Boas' 4-2-3-1 formation. 

When Parker returns to the first-team squad from his injury, he will be competing for the spot in the defensive midfield with Sandro, Moussa Dembele and Jake Livermore. 

At the moment, Dembele and Sandro are the starting pair at the position while Livermore has been used sparingly this season. 

Parker is most suited to play at the position due to his defensive qualities and his lack of offensive attributes. 

When the season began, the assumption was that Parker would replace Sandro in the starting 11 once he returned from injury, but that may not be the case now. 

Sandro is one of only two Spurs players that have started in all 15 of the club's EPL matches and has shown improvement in each of those matches. 

Dembele has only started six matches this season but that is because of his injury problems. He returned from his hip injury in the club's November 25th win over West Ham.

The good news for Tottenham is that over the next month they will have plenty of matches to test who belongs where in the starting 11. 

One potential move that Villas-Boas could make is to start Parker and Sandro in the defensive midfield and bump up Dembele to the attacking trio behind forward Jermain Defoe. 

Dembele would line up in the center of the attacking trio with Aaron Lennon playing on the right wing and Gareth Bale on the left wing. 

Dembele excelled in a central midfield position at Fulham last season and would fit well in the middle of the two explosive wingers. 

Another positive of having Parker return to the lineup at Spurs is the addition to the depth in midfield.

Also looking to a permanent starting position in the midfield will be Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Dempsey has been the preferred starter to Sigurdsson in the middle of the attacking trio with 10 starts to Sigurdsson's five in the EPL. 

Dembele will undoubtedly join the competition in the attacking trio, but he will also be used as cover for Sandro and Parker in the defensive midfield. 

In the next 30 days, Spurs will play in eight matches in three different competitions and having depth at each position will be a key to surviving the holiday fixture list. 

The return of a healthy Parker and the return of Bale from his recent injury will help Spurs get through this grueling period of play without their players gaining match fatigue. 

With all his midfielders healthy, Villas-Boas will not be able to use the injury excuse if Spurs fail to succeed during their fairly easy fixture list with sixth-placed Everton on Sunday being the toughest opponent in the next month. 

What do you think about the return of Parker to Tottenham?

Comment below or hit me up on Twitter @JTansey90

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