Why Tottenham Are Wrong to Consider Selling Michael Dawson
It's been a busy summer for Tottenham Hotspur.
They have hired former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino as their new manager and have been busy putting together bids to bolster their squad, both offensively and defensively.
However, for all the players Tottenham are looking to take on, there's an elephant in the room when it comes to players the club want to unload.
That is Michael Dawson.
There are several reasons why Spurs could sell the 30-year-old centre-back, who's been with the club since 2005, but the benefits of keeping him around arguably outweigh any reason to let him leave.
His 31 Appearances Are Second-Best
Yes, Tottenham need some help on defense, especially at centre-back. However, I don't think selling Dawson is going to help improve Spurs' back line.
Tottenham have some work to do in developing defenders, of that there is no doubt.
Whether it's a new player arriving this summer or the young talent already on the roster, like Vlad Chiriches and Etienne Capoue, it's going to help having a veteran defender who made 31 Premier League appearances last season by their side as they develop.
He's in the Final Year of His Contract
Speaking of giving young defensive talent time to develop, Dawson is in the last year of his contract.
Selling him now would give Tottenham, at most, a few million pounds of transfer funds.
Allowing Dawson to stay on for another season would save the transfer funds it would take to bring a veteran centre-back on.
His Physical Play in the Air
Dawson certainly has some weaknesses. He loses focus at times, his awareness of where he is in relation to goal can be suspect, and he's not as quick and agile as some of England's elite strikers.
However, the physicality he brings to the centre-back position is something that will be sorely missed should Tottenham decide to sell him and replace him with a quicker, smaller defender.
Tottenham finished five points clear in the race for the Europa League last year, largely because of Hugo Lloris' play in goal. However, it was also in part because Dawson doesn't often let opposing forwards get clean shots.
He's also very good at clearing the ball and defending the "second shot" that strikers often score from.
Who Would Replace Him?
Except for Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren, who else could Tottenham target in the summer transfer window?
Defensive additions are either going to be costly, not as good, or both.
Even if Spurs sign Lovren away from Southampton, why not keep Dawson as a regular option for the Europa Cup and in domestic cup play?
Fatigue was a big reason why Spurs faltered late in the season last year. Dawson provides the team with a veteran presence in the heart of the defense that will keep the starters rested for the Premier League.