Ricardo Rodriguez & 15 Players for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterMay 28, 2014

Ricardo Rodriguez & 15 Players for Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham

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    Mauricio Pochettino has been unveiled as the new Tottenham Hotspur manager, signing a five-year deal at White Hart Lane and committing to an exciting project.

    The discussion will turn, immediately, to whom "Poch" can sign to improve the side, and the Argentine will already be devising strategies to upgrade certain positions.

    Pochettino will love Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker, Sandro, Paulinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and Erik Lamela, but what of the rest?

    Left-back is an area of critical need, with Danny Rose underwhelming and Benoit Assou-Ekotto of questionable quality. Centre-back has been riddled with injuries and age issues for a year, while Brad Friedel won't last forever as a back-up goalkeeper.

    There are players who've been strongly linked away from the club too, and there may be some replacement work for the Argentine to do before he even gets started.

Joel Veltman, Ajax

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    Joel Veltman has come on leaps and bounds this past season after previously looking like he'd be a contender to drop out of the Jong Ajax system.

    He's still a little error prone and can lose his man on the swivel, but as far as "late-blooming" 22-year-olds go, he's one hell of a prospect.

    A great ball-playing partner for Jan Vertonghen?

Davide Santon, Newcastle

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    Davide Santon is naturally a right-footer, so not only would he upgrade Tottenham's situation at left-back, but he'd also provide cover on the right.

    He's Premier League-proven and he's been one of the Magpies' most consistent players over the past three topsy-turvy seasons.

    He's been around forever, it seems, yet he's only 23 years of age.

Ricardo Rodriguez, Wolfsburg

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    Keep an eye on Ricardo Rodriguez this summer at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

    He'll be playing left-back for Switzerland in Ottmar Hitzfeld's high-press, high-energy system; opposite Stephan Lichtsteiner he's an extreme force going forward.

    With five goals and nine assists last season for Wolfsburg, per WhoScored.com, he'll be hot property, and he's only 21 years of age.

Jay Rodriguez, Southampton

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    Picture this, if you will, for a moment: Tottenham Hotspur in a 4-3-3, with Jay Rodriguez (left) and Erik Lamela (right) running in off the edge ahead of the striker. Dreamy.

    "JROD" improved immeasurably under Mauricio Pochettino's guidance this past season on the south coast, and while his torn ACL will likely keep him from transferring until the January 2015 window, he's well worth the wait.

Juan Guillermo Cuadrado, Fiorentina

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    Juan Guillermo Cuadrado is set to light up the 2014 FIFA World Cup for Colombia this summer, wowing fans as he dribbles past defenders at lightning speed.

    He can be a little frustrating and wasteful at times, but good coaching can coax a near-elite player out given enough time. Barcelona and Juventus are seemingly "interested," per Inside Spanish Football, but this player has been dogged by rumours for years.

Diego Lopez, Real Madrid

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    Should Hugo Lloris depart Tottenham for Monaco or PSG, Mauricio Pochettino will be in need of a new first-choice goalkeeper.

    It's a bit of stretch, but Iker Casillas' heroics in the Champions League this past season—bar the blunder in the final—should force Diego Lopez out of the Bernabeu.

    He's a magnificent goalkeeper who’ll be in high demand; Spurs will need to be willing to part with genuine cash (wages) to land him.

Gotoku Sakai, Stuttgart

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    Japan have obvious, critical needs at striker and in central defence, but they've got top-tier full-backs coming out of their ears.

    Gotoku Sakai is one of four excellent full-backs in Alberto Zaccheroni's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and he too can play on either side of the defence.

    He's quick, energetic, tackles well but has a habit of being caught too high up too often.

Juan Bernat, Valencia

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    Juan Bernat has impressed hugely this season, rising from the depths of unknown and into a position whereby he's "considered" by clubs for £10 million-plus.

    He showed a comfort at left-back many youngsters wish for, and he was also able to make an impact starting further ahead on the wings, too.

    Now Valencia have been taken over by a billionaire, he's more likely to be retained, but clubs will like what they have seen.

Daley Blind, Ajax

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    Daley Blind is a player who's fancied to follow Louis van Gaal to Manchester United should they fail to wrap up a deal for Luke Shaw, but Tottenham shouldn't simply let them wait and see if they need his services.

    Once the laughing stock of Ajax fans due to his regular blunders and errors, Daley, son of the legend Danny Blind, cleaned up his act and began putting together consistently solid performances.

    He's capable at left-back, left wing-back or central midfield.

Terence Kongolo, Feyenoord

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    Terence Kongolo is a promising young centre-back plying his trade at Feyenoord who started 15 games last season in an assortment of positions.

    Tottenham have a need at centre-back and left-back—two positions he has displayed great skill in since the turn of the year—and would be wise to table a bid before the 2014 FIFA World Cup.


Dejan Lovren, Southampton

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    Manchester United have been credited with a £15 million interest in Dejan Lovren this summer, per The Metro, and they are supposedly looking to the Croat as a replacement for Nemanja Vidic.

    The former Lyon man has blossomed into the top-tier centre-back he always threatened to be during his time in France, and just one year removed from being benched at the Stade de Gerland, he could feasibly have his pick of clubs.

Vincent Enyeama, Lille

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    Vincent Enyeama was a key part of Lille's astonishing defensive system this past season.

    The Nigeria international, set to go to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and start under Stephen Keshi, has miraculous reflexes, strong aerial ability and a great goal kick.

    He's a cheap pickup for anyone wanting a strong starting goalkeeper.

Adam Lallana, Southampton

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    It's difficult to tell where we are in the Adam Lallana transfer saga script, but the fact that a deal's not been done by now suggests suitors are struggling to agree a price with Southampton.

    The last thing Saints chairman Ralph Krueger will want is Mauricio Pochettino picking up the phone and asking what price Lallana is, but the Argentine should put the call through anyway and see what he says.

    According to The Guardian, the English winger is the first signing "Poch" wants.

Zakaria Bakkali, PSV Eindhoven

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    The situation between Zakaria Bakkali and PSV Eindhoven is quickly becoming untenable, as after the Belgian burst onto the scene early this year, he's gotten a little big for his boots.

    There's a contract dispute going on between the two parties, and after the club confirmed they would not up their offer to keep him on board, per Sky Sports, Bakkali threatened to quit.

    It's not a good start to professional life for the teenager, but he's quite the talent and arguably worth the trouble.

Guillermo Ochoa, Ajaccio

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    According to Sky Sports, Guillermo Ochoa will weigh up transfer moves this summer after confirming he will leave Ajaccio on a free transfer.

    The Mexican shot-stopper boasts absurd agility and can keep a team out single-handedly. If Tottenham are concerned they could lose Hugo Lloris, Ochoa would be a valuable pickup.

    If not, he's backup for a year then sell-on profit.