8 Players Spurs Could Sell After Tim Sherwood's "Playing for Their Future" Talk
Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood hasn't been in the job all that long, but he is clearly keen to make his mark on the club and will be looking to make alterations to his squad in summer.
The former player and coach has spoken recently, via BBC Sport, about not enough of his players showing the character and determination he wants and that he is not prepared to mollycoddle underperforming stars:
I'm just going to shoot from the hip. I'm a manager, not a babysitter. A lot here are playing for their future and they realise that now. They have that chance between now and the end of the season to prove they want to play for a giant club like Tottenham. I want players here who want to play for the club and they have between now and the end of the season to show that they are playing for their club and not for themselves.
Clear sentiments indeed from the boss, and some players might feel rather more than others that their futures are on the line. Here are eight whom Spurs may look to sell on in summer if things don't pick up.
French centre-back Younes Kaboul is a very decent defender...when available.
The trouble is he's so frequently been injured that Spurs haven't had the chance to make the most of his talents.
He has totalled five Premier League appearances this season, was sent off at the weekend (later rescinded) and only played once last season. With his contract due to run out at the end of the current campaign, there is every chance Spurs will cut their losses with him and release Kaboul on a free.
Very much not on a free transfer is Argentine forward Erik Lamela, Spurs' record signing.
The left-footed, right-sided man has endured a really difficult first season in England, playing only nine times in the Premier League and failing to find the net at all under his two managers. Since Andre Villas-Boas gave way to Sherwood, though, he has hardly a look-in at all.
Lamela is officially out injured with back trouble, but has not played a single minute of action in 2014. Spurs will want to recoup as much as they can, but without having shown good form, it might be they can only ship him out on loan—or else stick by him.
It's fair to say that striker Roberto Soldado has had a stinking season with Tottenham.
Signed for mega money last summer to lead the line, he's been usurped in the team by the previously outcast Emmanuel Adebayor and has managed just six goals this season, mostly from the penalty spot.
His shooting betrays his lack of confidence, with only a woeful 33 percent of his shots even hitting the target and a 13 percent conversion rate extremely poor given his lack of contribution elsewhere.
Soldado will almost certainly be replaced...if Spurs have a buyer.
Belgian winger Nacer Chadli has been the very definition of "all right" this season.
Not great, not particularly bad in any respect, easy to leave out the side and someone you can throw on and hope they'll do something of note...but ultimately be disappointed with.
Chadli has scored once, created only 21 chances (that's eighth in the Spurs squad) and generally has not had enough of an impact to suggest he'll be a critical long-term player for the side, though it's fair to also note that Sherwood's lineup and formation does not really hold a natural position for him.
Lewis Holtby has already been shipped out of White Hart Lane on a temporary deal on loan at Fulham until the end of the season.
While he won't be training under the watchful eye of Sherwood, he will no doubt be having plenty of reports sent back to his parent club about his performances in matches.
An energetic and lively performer, Holtby is perhaps one of the midfielders on this list who would seem to have a natural role within Sherwood's shape, making his loan a little puzzling. But if game time in the top flight gets his confidence back up and helps Spurs see his worth, the move will be worth it. If not, he'll likely head out permanently in summer.
Full-back Kyle Naughton is perhaps in a slightly different boat as he is a capable player who has done well on occasion in the first team, but clearly has at least two players ahead of him.
Capable of operating on either side, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker are the two preferred options for Tottenham, meaning Naughton is used only when injuries dictate and never with the chance to hold down one position or the other as his own.
With less than 850 minutes of league game time this season, it wouldn't be a surprise if he asked to leave or Spurs decided he was surplus to requirements.
Etienne Capoue has failed to become a regular for Spurs so far and has operated both in midfield and in central defence.
In truth he has not really had much success in either role, though a recent run as a holding midfielder came to an end when he got injured at the end of February. He has managed just 12 league appearances this term—yet all things being normal, he's perhaps the most natural foil to play at the base of the midfield and protect an at-times ragged defence.
They'd be wise to keep him and play him, but if the club isn't impressed by what he's offered over the course of the season, Capoue could be out. There will be no shortage of takers though.
Our final player is the Belgian, Mousa Dembele.
He has not really shown consistently his true top form since moving from Fulham to Spurs, and while that's not to say he hasn't been a capable performer, he's also not been the type of contributor on a regular basis in the final third that they need him to be.
Dembele is neat, tidy, reliable in possession and covers ground well; he even creates his share of chances going forward. But two goals and five assists in the last two full league seasons isn't really the kind of numbers a Champions League-chasing team might expect from one of their main attacking midfielders.