Power Ranking Every Tottenham Hotspur Player from the 2013-14 Premier League

Thomas CooperFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2014

Power Ranking Every Tottenham Hotspur Player from the 2013-14 Premier League

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    Where will Christian Eriksen rank among Tottenham's best players this season?
    Where will Christian Eriksen rank among Tottenham's best players this season?Steve Bardens/Getty Images

    Tottenham Hotspur finished the 2013-14 season sixth in the league with 69 points, having won 21 matches, drawn six and lost 11. Their goal difference was plus four with a tally of 55 goals scored.

    In the Europa League they reached the round of 16, the last eight of the Capital One Cup and did not get past the third round of the FA Cup.

    Excluding the youngsters who made just one or two appearances, a squad of 26 players featured. The following article ranks them, from those who made the least impact to the ones who made the most—acknowledging each did so in different individual circumstances.

    Outside of the top few it is a difficult task after an inconsistent campaign.

    Most of the players contributed good performances at one time or another, while some enjoyed genuine runs of form. Injuries were a big factor, as too was both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood taking time to work out the best starting combination for a squad littered with new signings.

    Given the difficulty in separating some of them, it ultimately and naturally came down to this writer's opinion. The other main editorial decision was to keep it to players still employed by Tottenham at the conclusion of this campaign—so no Jermain Defoe, but Lewis Holtby is included despite being on loan at Fulham since January.

    Despite this article's title, given the prominent role of cup competitions in Spurs' season, listed appearances (substitute appearances in brackets), goals/saves, yellow and red cards* are tallied from all competitions played in.

    Read on for Bleacher Report's Power Rankings for Tottenham Hotspur players in the 2013-14 campaign.

     

    *Red and yellow cards and saves statistics for Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel were taken from ESPN FC.

25. Zeki Fryers

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    Zeki Fryers has earned increasing first-team chances over the course of the season.
    Zeki Fryers has earned increasing first-team chances over the course of the season.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Appearances: 10 (6)
    Goals: 0
    Yellow Cards: 0
    Red Cards: 0

    Zeki Fryers takes the first spot on this list. Not as a result of poor performances but a comparative lack of playing time.

    The 21-year-old played well enough in his few appearances at left-back. Later in the campaign, he got minutes in central defence and looked comfortable there too. Definitely one to watch at White Hart Lane next season.

24. Erik Lamela

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    Lamela celebrates scoring against Sheriff in the Europa League.
    Lamela celebrates scoring against Sheriff in the Europa League.Matt Dunham/Associated Press

    Appearances: 10 (7)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 1
    Red Cards: 0

    First, the good of Erik Lamela this season. He set up Paulinho's winner versus Cardiff City, scored a fine goal himself against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League and played a terrific ball out wide to Roberto Soldado in the build-up to Emmanuel Adebayor's first against Southampton.

    Not anywhere near almost £30 million worth of contributions, but being kind to the Argentinian, glimpses that show there is hope for him yet at Tottenham.

    The Daily Mail's Neil Ashton reported last week that Lamela was "so desperate to succeed that he hid a muscular injury following his move to the Barclays Premier League." It led to the problems that have kept him out since December, and go some way to explaining his on-pitch struggles.

    Lamela will still need to toughen up to deal with the Premier League's physicality. But hopefully, alongside being more settled in England and being fit again, he can start making the impact he was bought for next season.

23. Etienne Capoue

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    Injuries have savaged Capoue's first season with Spurs.
    Injuries have savaged Capoue's first season with Spurs.Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Appearances: 14 (4)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    The theme of injuries is going to crop up frequently throughout these rankings. Besides Lamela, no one suffered more from them than Etienne Capoue.

    The summer signing from Toulouse helped shore things up in the season opening win over Crystal Palace and then impressed again in the following week's defeat of Swansea City. The loss to Arsenal proved altogether tougher, but it would have been a useful learning experience had he not got injured.

    Out until November, Capoue had to wait his turn to get back in the team, with others having moved in front of him in the pecking order. It came in February, and he quietly impressed in support of Nabil Bentaleb, Paulinho and others as Spurs secured important wins over Everton and Newcastle United.

    Then came an enforced early withdrawal at Norwich City in February, in what was to be his last appearance of a frustrating year.

22. Brad Friedel

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    The ever-reliable Brad Friedel.
    The ever-reliable Brad Friedel.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Appearances: 9
    Saves: 22
    Yellow Cards: 0
    Red Cards: 0

    At 42 years old, Brad Friedel remains ready and able whenever Tottenham need him. The call only came once in the league, but the goalkeeper's cup displays allowed him to show his enduring class.

    Friedel was between the sticks for Spurs' first penalty shootout win in many a year in the Capital One Cup against Hull City. His most impressive night was out in Ukraine where he compensated for a poor showing by his defence to keep his team's aggregate deficit to Dnipro to just one.

21. Lewis Holtby

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    Spurs' go-to guy for a time, Lewis Holtby.
    Spurs' go-to guy for a time, Lewis Holtby.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Appearances: 11 (11)
    Goals: 3
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    It is easy to forget now, seeing how Tim Sherwood let him go on loan to Fulham, but Lewis Holtby was a go-to guy for Andre Villas-Boas in the autumn.

    Regularly called upon in cup games, he scored twice and set up a further five goals in nine appearances. The German established a good understanding with Jermain Defoe—another who shone in the cups.

    Premier League playing time was harder to come by for Holtby, with Christian Eriksen ahead of him in the pecking order. But, even then, a goal in the win at Fulham suggested he might begin seeing more action at White Hart Lane. Ultimately, it proved not to be.

20. Nacer Chadli

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    Chadli standing tall against Benfica.
    Chadli standing tall against Benfica.Francisco Seco/Associated Press

    Appearances: 19 (16)
    Goals: 5
    Yellow Cards: 0
    Red Cards: 0

    A decidedly mixed debut year in England for the latest addition to Tottenham's Belgian contingent. 

    Although not helped by limited playing time in his first six months, Nacer Chadli's flashes of quality were not quite enough to justify selecting him ahead of the likes of Aaron Lennon, Andros Townsend and Christian Eriksen.

    The spring saw Chadli reach the levels he had been searching for, if only for a few games.

    Good against Arsenal, he was even better away at Benfica—scoring twice as Spurs almost rescued a Europa League tie that had looked out of reach. Chadli played well in attacking central midfield vs. Southampton before being moved back to partner Paulinho.

    Despite a decent effort, the defensive side of things was not the attack-minded player's cup of tea.

19. Sandro

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    Injury has limited Sandro's playing time this season.
    Injury has limited Sandro's playing time this season.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Appearances: 18 (7)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 9
    Red Cards: 0

    Andre Villas-Boas was patient in bringing Sandro back into the fold this season after the knee problem that had derailed his previous campaign.

    As he got back into the swing of things throughout the autumn, his presence in central midfield once again provided a good counter balance to the more attacking instincts of those around him.

    Injury then ruled Sandro out until February, and his game time thereafter was infrequent and mixed as a difference of opinion with Tim Sherwood came to the fore.

18. Aaron Lennon

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    Lennon has had one of his quieter seasons at White Hart Lane.
    Lennon has had one of his quieter seasons at White Hart Lane.Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Appearances: 32 (2)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 1
    Red Cards: 0

    This was probably the weakest campaign of Aaron Lennon's nine-year Tottenham career.

    Injury saw him out for the first few months of the season. Upon his return, he initially restored a much-needed sense of balance to the midfield with his ability to attack from the outside.

    Lennon's solid defensive work in front of and covering for his right-back was still plenty evident. Bar a few tantalising glimpses every few games, his attacking prowess was less forthcoming and paled in comparison to the creativity being offered by Christian Eriksen coming in off the left.

17. Mousa Dembele

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    It has been an inconsistent campaign for Dembele but he has had his moments.
    It has been an inconsistent campaign for Dembele but he has had his moments.Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Appearances: 34 (8)
    Goals: 2
    Yellow Cards: 6
    Red Cards: 0

    An almost nondescript 10 months for Mousa Dembele this time around. He did good work alongside Paulinho early in the season, dominating in wins over Norwich City and Cardiff City before leading Tottenham's resistance as Chelsea fought back in September's 1-1 draw.

    Though regularly featuring in the team up until April, not a whole lot stood out from Dembele. Often tidy and dependable enough, his dynamism from his first year in N17 rarely came to the fore.

16. Jan Vertonghen

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    Vertonghen's second season at Spurs has not matched his first.
    Vertonghen's second season at Spurs has not matched his first.Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Appearances: 31 (2)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 7
    Red Cards: 0

    Voted into the PFA Team of the Year in his first season in England, Jan Vertonghen's second was not as happy. Danny Rose getting injured saw the Belgian having to deputise at left-back, a position he seemed less comfortable—or happy—playing in than a year earlier. He was then forced out until the New Year himself.

    A few solid outings back in the team and in central defence looked to have got Vertonghen back on track. The team's troubles against the big teams soon became problematic, though. A slip from the defender gave Chelsea the lead in their eventual 4-0 win, and his lackadaisical appearance before getting injured at Liverpool saw his character come under question.

15. Younes Kaboul

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    Kaboul has found some form late in the season.
    Kaboul has found some form late in the season.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Appearances: 18 (2)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 1
    Red Cards: 2

    After an injury hit 2012-13, Younes Kaboul had to wait his turn behind Michael Dawson and Vertonghen this time around. Further niggles also saw him fall behind Vlad Chiriches in the pecking order at central defence before a lengthy absence kept him out until February.

    A useful performer in the group stage of the Europa League, Kaboul was handed his chance in the Premier League in the 4-0 win over Newcastle United. His performance there and Dawson's own subsequent fitness problems gave the Frenchman his much-desired minutes.

    Kaboul improved with each passing week, stepping into the leadership void left by the absent club captain in a manner Vertonghen seemed less willing to do. The unfortunate dismissal in the penultimate game of the season at West Ham was a harsh way to conclude his campaign.

14. Nabil Bentaleb

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    Bentaleb has divided opinion among Spurs supporters.
    Bentaleb has divided opinion among Spurs supporters.Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Appearances: 15 (6)
    Goals: 0
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    Handed his chance in the Tottenham first-team squad by Tim Sherwood, Nabil Bentaleb became a fixture in the side for the first few months of the new manager's reign.

    Though kept in the side a little too long, the teenager was unfairly criticised by fans clamouring for the inclusion of senior midfielders. He was simply taking his chance.

    Bentaleb's passing range impressed early on, while he also hinted at his box-to-box capabilities with an adventurous display against Crystal Palace. A further sign of his growing comfort at the top level was seen in his best defensive work yet at Benfica in the Europa League. Bentaleb is a work in progress, but this learning curve will benefit him long term.

13. Andros Townsend

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    Townsend's best display of 2014, against Arsenal, was not enough to get him back into the Spurs starting XI.
    Townsend's best display of 2014, against Arsenal, was not enough to get him back into the Spurs starting XI.Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Appearances: 20 (13)
    Goals: 2
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    A goal and two assists in the Europa League first-leg qualifier win over Dinamo Tbilisi in August impressed Andre Villas-Boas enough to give Andros Townsend his chance in the team with Aaron Lennon out injured. The winger duly took it, becoming a regular in the side up until getting injured in mid-December.

    Despite doing enough to make the England squad, Townsend's lack of production saw doubts begin to rise around him. His one-track performances were often lacking in subtlety, but, then again, so were his manager's tactics at times.

    His injury meant he lost his chance to impress Villas-Boas' replacement Tim Sherwood early in 2014. Bar a decent display in the derby loss to Arsenal in March, he struggled to recapture his early season form when fit again and was unfortunately ruled out for the season after going down again at Stoke City.

12. Roberto Soldado

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    A relieved Soldado celebrates his goal against Cardiff.
    A relieved Soldado celebrates his goal against Cardiff.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Appearances: 30 (7)
    Goals: 11
    Yellow Cards: 7
    Red Cards: 0

    The much-maligned Roberto Soldado appeared to lose track of his shooting boots in the second half of the season—scoring just once in 2014. Tottenham overcame the issues of isolation that had rendered him ineffective too often in large periods prior to then, but his form deserted him at the wrong time.

    Still, while not £26 million worth, his overall tally of 11 is not the worst ever seen by a foreign striker making his bow in England. Four of those were also the only goals in 1-0 wins, essentially securing 12 points that might have otherwise registered as bore draws for Spurs.

    Soldado will want to improve next season for sure and not rely so heavily on penalties to get his name on the scoresheet. Then again, being a reliable spot-kick taker will often come in handy.

11. Gylfi Sigurdsson

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    Sigurdsson makes it five for Spurs versus Sunderland.
    Sigurdsson makes it five for Spurs versus Sunderland.Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Appearances: 23 (12)
    Goals: 6
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    Gylfi Sigurdsson began his second season with Tottenham brightly, scoring goals in the win over Norwich City and draw with Chelsea. His initial role in central attacking midfield was soon handed to new signing Christian Eriksen, leaving him to fit in where needed out left or deeper.

    Sigurdsson's habit of finding the back of the net would prove useful on several occasions, with a brilliant long-range strike opened the scoring in the eventual Capital One Cup defeat of Hull City and a stoppage-time winner against Southampton in March perhaps being the most notable.

    His impact on the Spurs team was otherwise sporadic and, at best, tidy. A player certainly with his charms, but charms not sufficient enough to accommodate regularly at the expense of more effective performers.

10. Kyle Naughton

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    Naughton's long-term future is uncertain, but he has largely proved a capable deputy at right-back.
    Naughton's long-term future is uncertain, but he has largely proved a capable deputy at right-back.Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    Appearances: 31 (3)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 8
    Red Cards: 0

    Kyle Naughton's 2013-14 confirmed two things. His near-complete unwillingness to use his left-foot makes him entirely unsuitable to play on that flank. On his natural right side, however, Naughton is a solid full-back with a good passing range and a decent engine.

    Kyle Walker's season-ending injury problems allowed Naughton an uninterrupted run in the Spurs starting line-up. He went from strength to strength, appearing to gain confidence with each game. In the away loss to West Ham United he was the only defender to come away with any credit, holding firm while his team-mates were unpicked and outfought by the Hammers' direct style.

    With a fit Walker likely to return next season, what comes next for Naughton is uncertain. Having had to bide his time in North London these last few years, he is undoubtedly in his strongest position yet.

9. Danny Rose

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    The subject was Rose: the left-back has mostly enjoyed his first season proper in the Spurs first-team.
    The subject was Rose: the left-back has mostly enjoyed his first season proper in the Spurs first-team.Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Appearances: 30 (1)
    Goals: 2
    Yellow Cards: 5
    Red Cards: 0

    Tottenham's first-choice left-back at the beginning of this campaign, injury saw Danny Rose out for most of the autumn. Back in the team from December onwards, his performances ranged between dynamic and lazy.

    On his game, Rose proved himself a capable, often strong defender in one-on-one situations and a useful source of energy in attack. Too often, however, he could be seen barely jogging back into position, leaving his flank exposed.

    Tim Sherwood's assessment to the Tottenham & Wood Green Journal's Ben Pearce that the converted full-back is "only young and he’s still learning" should be taken into consideration. Nonetheless, Rose will have to up his game to cement the spot as his own next season.

8. Vlad Chiriches

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    Chiriches enjoyed a strong spell of form between October and January.
    Chiriches enjoyed a strong spell of form between October and January.Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Appearances: 23 (2)
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    Having spent most of the 2014 portion of the season out injured, it is easy to forget how much Vlad Chiriches impressed before that. He formed Spurs' most effective defensive partnership of the season with Michael Dawson and was missed when dropped at Manchester City and injured for the visit of Liverpool.

    The Romanian's best performance came in January's 2-1 defeat of Manchester United, where his assured touch and aptitude for combat saw him play a vital part in his team earning the win.

    Chiriches' rustiness after getting fit was exposed at West Bromwich Albion, but he served a reminder of his talent back alongside Dawson for the season-ending win over Aston Villa.

7. Kyle Walker

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    Kyle Walker has continued his development this season.
    Kyle Walker has continued his development this season.Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Appearances: 35
    Goals: 1
    Yellow Cards: 5
    Red Cards: 0

    Out injured since mid-March, Kyle Walker was one of Tottenham's more consistent performers up until that point. More positionally disciplined than in previous years, the right-back has become more comprehensive in the tackle too.

    Walker's athleticism and speed continued to mark him out as a dangerous outlet in attack for Spurs. Developing a little more thoughtfulness in the final third moving forward would not go amiss in rounding out his game either.

    Naughton's own progress in the position in Walker's absence will mean immediate focus is required come pre-season.

6. Harry Kane

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    Harry Kane has made the most of his opportunities this season.
    Harry Kane has made the most of his opportunities this season.Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Appearances: 8 (11)
    Goals: 4
    Yellow Cards: 0
    Red Cards: 0

    An injury to Soldado in late March saw Harry Kane handed his first Premier League starts after a handful of eye-catching cameos throughout the campaign. He responded with three goals and a number of impressive performances.

    A stronger season from Tottenham would have seen Kane further down this list. As it was, he helped revitalise a campaign badly damaged by losses to Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool early in the spring. Kane improved with each appearance, and the 20-year-old's importance to Spurs is only likely to grow.

5. Paulinho

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    Paulinho has had a quieter 2014 but has had a decent season overall.
    Paulinho has had a quieter 2014 but has had a decent season overall.Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

    Appearances: 34 (4)
    Goals: 8
    Yellow Cards: 4
    Red Cards: 1

    Paulinho largely settled well in his first season in England. After Michael Dawson, he made the second most appearances of any outfield player, and his eight goals put him fourth in Tottenham's scoring chart.

    A regular in the side for the first few months of the season, an injury prior to the turn of the year sidelined the midfielder for a month. It was cruel timing, coming during a highly impressive showing in the 3-0 win over Stoke City.

    An equaliser against Hull City and another goal in the 4-0 win over Newcastle United looked to have heralded a return to form upon Paulinho's recovery in February. His performances dipped for a time thereafter, though, as Spurs endured a mixed couple of months.

    The Brazil international's run of six consecutive starts to end the season saw him do good work to round off his first campaign in England—just in time for the World Cup.

4. Michael Dawson

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    Dawson has continued to prove himself as a fine leader for Tottenham Hotspur.
    Dawson has continued to prove himself as a fine leader for Tottenham Hotspur.Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Appearances: 38 (4)
    Goals: 0
    Yellow Cards: 9
    Red Cards: 0

    In an interview with the club's official website in March, Tottenham's all-time record appearance holder Steve Perryman said the following about Michael Dawson.

    He's my kind of player. His commitment is outstanding and he's the sort of man that you'd want alongside you in the heat of battle.

    Michael is dedicated to Tottenham and you continually can see that in his play. He will always give you 100 per cent no matter what the circumstances.

    One of Spurs' great skippers, when it comes to leadership qualities, Perryman is as good as judge as they come. That he thinks so highly of the current captain speaks volumes about Dawson.

    The 30-year-old was part of a Spurs defence that failed desperately against the Premier League's leading three clubs this season. He was unable to do much as mistakes, injuries and selection issues contributed to their being torn apart by the division's best attackers.

    Dawson proved to be his side's most consistent defensive performer overall, and he held the back four together. Spurs would have been a lot softer without him.

3. Emmanuel Adebayor

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    Sherwood had good reason to salute Adebayor after his goalscoring efforts December onwards.
    Sherwood had good reason to salute Adebayor after his goalscoring efforts December onwards.Ian Walton/Getty Images

    Appearances: 25 (1)
    Goals: 14
    Yellow Cards: 1
    Red Cards: 0

    Emmanuel Adebayor's 2013-14 essentially began in December with the departure of Andre Villas-Boas. The pair's falling out had seen the striker play just 45 minutes of football up to the Portuguese's dismissal.

    Even with half-a-season less than most of his team-mates under his belt, Adebayor's overall impact still proved to be among the most crucial of the campaign. A side struggling for goals before then, Sherwood's restoration of the forward to the rotation saw a significant improvement in Spurs' attacking play.

    Adebayor provided a presence that was lacking beforehand, one that was capable of occupying defenders while still providing a goal threat. The latter was shown in the 14 goals which followed, the former in the foil he has provided for Kane, Soldado and others. When Spurs were at their best—notably in the wins over Manchester United, Newcastle United and Dnipro—Adebayor was playing a leading role.

    The 30-year-old's form has tailed off again in recent weeks. For the mid-season shot in the arm he provided to his team, though, he deserves his lofty ranking here.

2. Christian Eriksen

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    Christian Eriksen has been the best of Tottenham's summer 2013 signings.
    Christian Eriksen has been the best of Tottenham's summer 2013 signings.Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Appearances: 31 (7)
    Goals: 10
    Yellow Cards: 4
    Red Cards: 0

    Christian Eriksen could not have hoped for a better non-scoring debut. At home to Norwich City, he was involved in both of Sigurdsson's goals in the 2-1 win, his composure and skill with the ball impressing just as much as his eye for a pass.

    Playing in central attacking midfield, the summer signing from Ajax's early form tailed off for a time as teams more savvy than the Canaries knew not to grant him so much space to work in. An ankle injury then ruled the Dane out until December.

    While Tim Sherwood's subsequent deployment of him from the left has divided opinion among supporters, Eriksen has still turned into arguably Tottenham's most influential outfield performer. His 10 goals and 10 assists are a solid return, while his creativity was probably the most entertaining aspect of Spurs' play in 2014.

    The most successful of the North London club's purchases last year, his importance to Spurs should only grow—as long as the fans' Player of the Season sticks around.

1. Hugo Lloris

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    Lloris endured a tough spell earlier this season but his class has still been plenty evident.
    Lloris endured a tough spell earlier this season but his class has still been plenty evident.Sang Tan/Associated Press
    Appearances: 46
    Saves: 129
    Yellow Cards: 2
    Red Cards: 0

    Perhaps still recovering from the head injury suffered away at Everton, Hugo Lloris finished 2013 a little less sure of himself than usual. A mistake at Manchester City proved costly, one at Sunderland less so. Whatever the reasons, these proved to be temporary blips in an otherwise exemplary campaign from the goalkeeper.

    The France No.1 was behind a Tottenham defence that conceded just five goals in their opening 10 league games. The floodgates opened more often than anyone would have liked after the Man City loss, but be it the 5-1 home dismantling at the hands of the eventual champions, or the recent loss to West Ham United, Lloris was crucial in the results not resembling rugby levels.

    Lloris is calm at set-pieces and few are better as a shot-stopper. Off his goal line, the Frenchman strode the fine margin between impeccable timing and potentially problematic fouls in his interventions. Regardless of the risk, Spurs were grateful for the presence of an alert and quick last line of defence.

    Friedel is a fine deputy, one who has proved his worth in advancing years. Still, more than any other player for Spurs, Lloris could claim to be the difference between them finishing as high as they did than a lot lower.