Tottenham Hotspur star Harry Kane has hinted the uncertainty surrounding several key players during the summer transfer window may be behind the team's poor start to the season, and he wants everyone to commit to the side.
In an interview with Sky Sports' Soccer Saturday, the England international said the question marks surrounding the likes of Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose have had an impact:
"Obviously in the transfer window just gone, there were players who maybe wanted to leave, and it was public knowledge that there were players close to leaving who stayed.
"So it's never easy when you have a situation like that, but now that's closed, we all just want to move in the right direction. Whoever is on the pitch has to give everything for the club, that's all we can ask for. You have to kind of put your individual needs to one side and make sure you're performing to the highest level, because that will help your individual status anyway."
He couldn't explain exactly what has been going wrong for the side:
"It's hard to put a finger on it. We feel like we're training well, doing everything right, but maybe we haven't started games with the right energy.
"The [Crystal] Palace game (which Tottenham won 4-0) was the best example of how we should start; on the front foot and pressing, ruthless with chances, and that's what we've done in previous seasons, especially at home.
"We just need to find a way to get that good feeling back. We just need to get off that form, start fresh, get off to winning ways on Saturday and take that momentum forward."
Tottenham have won just two of their first six Premier League matches, gave away a lead against Olympiacos in a 2-2 UEFA Champions League draw and were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by League Two minnows Colchester United.
The club from Essex advanced after penalties:
The poor run of results has brought manager Mauricio Pochettino's position into question, and the tactician has said the squad is unsettled, per Football.London's Alasdair Gold:
Spurs' issues started in the summer. Per Sky Sports, Alderweireld, Rose and Eriksen all appeared to be on their way out at some point, only to stick around past the transfer deadline. Vertonghen then started the season on the bench for "tactical reasons."
Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen are all in the final year of their agreements and could sign pre-contracts with foreign clubs in January.
Former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood fears all three might leave on free transfers:
Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL
⚪🔵 Former @SpursOfficial boss Tim Sherwood has his say on Christian Eriksen staying - and the dangers of losing him, Vertonghen and Alderweireld for nothing this summer Do you agree #THFC fans? 📲 READ - https://t.co/lNoG98ly3W 📺 The Debate LIVE on @SkySportsPL channel now! https://t.co/80csK53RoI
Spurs will need their pending free agents to keep their focus on the task at hand rather than start planning their futures. The team desperately need to improve to keep pace with the Premier League's form clubs, having already fallen 10 points behind leaders Liverpool and five behind Manchester City.
They are set to face the Reds on October 27 and could use every bit of momentum on their side by then. Spurs will also host Bayern Munich on Tuesday, and a loss at home to the Germans would put them five points back in the battle for the Champions League Group B top spot after just two matchdays.