Tottenham Transfers: 11 Players at Risk of Leaving in the Summer
Tottenham finally brought their three-game win-less streak to an end with a comfortable 2-0 win at Blackburn, but in the grand scheme of things, the team is hardly out of the woods just yet.
Newcastle United still remain in the hunt for Champions League football despite their 4-0 drubbing by Wigan, and Chelsea is charging hard right beside both teams, waiting to capitalize on any slip-up.
And of course, if Chelsea do manage to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, England's fourth spot will be handed over to Chelsea, and the fourth-place team in the EPL will be entered into the Europa League.
This would be the cruelest of all endings to Tottenham's season.
With all these scenarios in mind, here are the players who may not be around next season, if Tottenham are unable to secure Champions League football over the course of their next three games.
Gareth Bale could be the first player to go this summer if Tottenham fail to secure Champions League football. Speaking with BBC Total Focus, Bale was bluntly honest:
If we don't [qualify for the Champions League], I have to discuss what's best for myself.
While part of me wants to say "good riddance" to a player who's had a major role to play in the slump, and who has selfishly insisted on playing more centrally to the detriment of the team, the other part of me knows that if Bale does leave, many more will leave after him.
After Tottenham's 2-0 victory over Blackburn, Harry Redknapp moved to quell any concerns that the fans may have had about Bale's status at Tottenham:
I saw that interview, but he’s got to worry about the end of the season and he’s on a long, five-year contract.
I don’t think he’ll be going anywhere because he won’t find many better clubs than Tottenham. And I don’t think he’s a boy suited to going abroad at the moment–the first opportunity he gets, he always goes back to see his family in Wales. This is a great club to be at.
And you can’t be letting players like Gareth Bale leave. I don’t think it matters whether I’m still the manager next year, I think the chairman would want to keep him.
You’ve got to keep him. You’ve got to keep your best players.
We'll see if Redknapp's words are true at the end of the season. If Spurs don't secure Champions League football, I doubt Bale is going to let his five-year contract tie him down the way it did Luka Modric last summer.
In the same interview that Redknapp held after the Blackburn match, he admitted that Tottenham had a different situation on their hands with Luka Modric:
Luka, it's different with him. I don't know what he would do. I would be lying if I said I was sure that he would stay. You don't know.
Earlier this year, Goal.com reported that Modric had been offered a new contract doubling his salary from £50,000-a-week to £100,000-a-week, but Modric had decided to wait until Redknapp's future was decided to choose whether or not to sign the deal.
With Redknapp's future now settled, it's Modric's time to decide whether to sign the deal or not.
Modric will likely wait until the end of the season to see where Tottenham are at rather than hastily committing his future to the club like he did in the past.
According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham were very keen on signing Emmanuel Adebayor for £8 million earlier this April, but after a training session squabble between Adebayor and Redknapp, it seems unlikely that Adebayor will be retained next season.
Though it may be a bit unfair to single out Adebayor for Spurs' woes, it's obvious that Adebayor has not maintained the consistency expected of a player making his kind of wages throughout the season.
Thirteen goals and 11 assists in 30 EPL games looks great on paper, but the reality is that in the 16 games that Adebayor neither assisted or scored a goal, he generally has struggled to make a positive impact for Tottenham.
There's still a very good chance that things could change yet again for Adebayor and Tottenham.
If Adebayor finishes the season in good form, and Tottenham clinch the Champions League spot they've been fighting for all season long, Redknapp may ask Daniel Levy to reopen negotiations for Adebayor.
With the immense competition for playing time at Manchester City, it's unlikely that City would like to see Adebayor return from his loan and eat up wages at the club once more. So in the long run, delaying negotiations could play to the advantage of Tottenham.
See that picture to the left? Heurelho Gomes has been so out-of-the-picture at Tottenham that he's had time to go to PSV games and watch his ex-team play in the Eredivisie.
This season, Gomes was designated to be Tottenham's Europa League and Carling Cup goalkeeper, or in other words, the team's third-choice keeper, behind Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini.
Unfortunately for Gomes, Tottenham's Carling Cup campaign lasted only one game, as the team lost to Stoke City on penalties, and Gomes was only allowed to play three of Tottenham's eight Europa League games.
So in other words, he's been paid a year's wages to play 390 minutes of football.
Both Gomes and Tottenham will be happy to part company this summer when his contract expires. Tottenham need to start searching for a young successor to Friedel in goal, and Gomes needs a club he can comfortably end his career with.
I never understood why Redknapp treated Corluka the way he did.
Corluka added much needed depth to Tottenham's defense, since he was capable of playing as a right-back or center-back, but after Kyle Walker's introduction into the team, Redknapp froze Corluka out and essentially forced him to seek out a January loan move away from the club.
Though he was quiet during his time at Tottenham, Corluka finally hit out at Redknapp's lack of rotation in an interview with BBC Sport (h/t ESPN). Commenting on Spurs' slump through March and April, Corluka blamed fatigue and tiredness brought about by lack of rotation for Spurs' poor results.
Never one to let a comment get by him, Redknapp hit back at Corluka with his own comments:
Charlie (Corluka) is entitled to his opinion and I like him, but probably the problem is that I have rotated. I have rarely had the same back four all season through injuries and everything else.
Most of the players have probably played 30 games. I didn't play any of them (senior players) in the UEFA Cup, FA Cup, most of them didn't play until the later rounds.
So the players have probably played on average 30 games this year which I don't think is a lot.
Two things to note about Redknapp's response: 1) Why does he call Corluka Charlie? 2) He still calls the Europa League the UEFA Cup, even though that name was discarded two years ago.
In any case, given the lack of playing time Corluka received while he was at Tottenham, I figure he'll try to work a deal out to leave in the summer.
Tottenham have Adam Smith in the squad ready to get more playing time, and Kyle Naughton is an excellent right-back who Tottenham have the option of retaining when he returns from Norwich.
Both are English, meaning they're more favored by Redknapp and more likely to play than Corluka when he returns.
Steven Pienaar was an excellent player when he left Everton for Tottenham. Unfortunately, injuries and extreme competition for playing time never allowed Pienaar to show that same excellence for Tottenham.
But back at Everton, Pienaar has picked up where he left off, creating and scoring remarkable goals. He's been a massive reason why Everton have had such a dramatic resurgence in the second half of the season.
Having tasted the good life once again, Pienaar's unlikely to want to return to Tottenham and claim his old position on the bench.
It's a shame, really, because Tottenham could really use Pienaar's ability on the right flank right about now, with Aaron Lennon constantly in-and-out of the lineup and Niko Kranjcar not providing the necessary width out wide.
It's crazy to think that Jermaine Jenas and David Bentley were both respected England internationals. Oh, how quickly things change.
Both players' careers at Tottenham have been over since last summer, but long-term injuries forced both players to end their loan spells this season prematurely and return to Spurs.
If they can't be solid this summer, they'll go back out on loan with a lower-end EPL table or high-end Championship club.
Giovani Dos Santos' Tottenham nightmare will almost surely come to an end this summer. His contract expires in 2013, meaning Tottenham have to sell him this summer or let him leave for free next summer.
It's unlikely they'll get a good offer for him, but at this point they'll take whatever they can get for a Mexican international who's career has been horribly mishandled at Spurs from day one.
Hopefully he'll be able to do what Carlos Vela has done: find a nice mid-table Spanish club and settle there.
Tottenham's depth at center-back has not been great this season, but Bongani Khumalo and Sebastien Bassong will most likely not be around to help that problem in 2012-13.
Khumalo's purchase continues to be a mystery; he's clearly not a Spurs-caliber player and will either be sold or loaned back down to a mid-table Championship side.
As for Bassong, his performances with Wolves have not been great, and Redknapp will feel vindicated in deciding to allow Bassong to leave Spurs in January. If he cannot secure a permanent move away, Bassong will likely be loaned to another lower-end EPL club.