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Has Jake Livermore—currently on loan at Hull City—played his way back into contention at Tottenham?
One of the more interesting speculative pieces written about Tottenham of late came from Matt Law in the Daily Telegraph.
"Tottenham Hotspur will target three key signings who can make an immediate impact on the first team as part of a summer transfer strategy that will focus on quality over quantity," Law led with.
Missing out on Champions League football again is a blow for chairman Daniel Levy and the club's hierarchy. But it appears they might have learned this season that spending big and bringing in several new players is not a solution.
Making the numbers work certainly applies to Tottenham's crowded midfield.
There is room for an addition or two—some would say change—on the wings. Erik Lamela, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend have each had decidedly mixed campaigns, while Christian Eriksen's future could again lay in a central role—whether Yago Falque, currently at Rayo Vallecano, has a future at Spurs remains to be seen.
Dnipro winger Yevhen Konoplyanka was regularly linked with Spurs earlier this year, including in the aforementioned article. He would give them a more natural presence on the left if he would a consider a transfer. The Independent's Ian Herbert believes Liverpool are more likely to make him part of their Champions League-boosted spending.
In central midfield, it will be about establishing satisfactory combinations that will not need to be almost constantly tweaked every couple of games to find what works best.
Eight players at Spurs are capable of playing centrally, which doesn't even include Tom Carroll, Lewis Holtby and Jake Livermore, who are all out on loan.
The creativity of Eriksen, the forward instincts of Paulinho and Gylfi Sigurdsson, all-round work from Mousa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb, the defensive ability of Etienne Capoue and Sandro—there is plenty to work with there.
Yet Andre Villas-Boas was unable to settled on a preferred two or three, and Sherwood has rotated too—at least up until going with Nacer Chadli and Paulinho for the last four matches.
Law's article mentioned Manchester City's James Milner as a possible midfield target. He would certainly fit in with Sherwood's liking for players with desire, quality and ample industry.
But that comes back to the crux of the matter right now. With no concrete idea of who will be Spurs manager come August, it is difficult to figure out the shape and style of the team, and the midfielders who will be charged with making it all click.