‘Tottenham will be active in the transfer market’: Spurs correspondent Dan Kilpatrick answered your questions
Welcome to the Evening Standard’s Tottenham Q&A, hosted by correspondent Dan Kilpatrick.
After Jose Mourinho had sat for his regular pre-match press conference, Dan sat down and answered you questions for over an hour.
Topics covered included Giovani Lo Celso and Ben Davies’s fitness, Japhet Tanganga’s role and the futures of Juan Foyth, Troy Parrott, Oliver Skipp and Luke Amos.
Away from the current squad, Dan gave insight into the club’s transfer plans over the summer and what areas Jose Mourinho is expected to focus on strengthening.
We also got questions about Daniel Levy’s struggles to offload players and how Tottenham’s training facilities compare to their rivals.
Finally, Dan gives his opinion on who Tottenham should target in the summer, and if the club will go back in for Jack Grealish or James Maddison.
Read our LIVE Tottenham Q&A back below…
Welcome to our LIVE Tottenham Q&A with correspondent Dan Kilpatrick.
Dan will, as ever, be attending Jose Mourinho’s pre-match press conference at Hotspur Way before answering your questions.
Join us from 1pm GMT for coverage of the press conference and Dan’s Q&A session.
Ahead of Jose Mourinho talking to the media, Spurs have sent out their fitness update on the squad.
Dan reports: “Foyth (groin) has joined Tottenham’s injury list along with Kane and Sissoko.
“Lo Celso is fit to face Aston Villa but Lamela will be assessed before the trip.”
Mourinho: Dele show humility with apology
“It was quite an easy conversation because he was sorry about the mistake but it was never his intention to hurt or offend,” Mourinho told reporters.
“He immediately regretted it, recognised it was a young guy mistake, a young generation mistake. And he apologised. So my conversation was easy, it was not a contradiction of ideas with me unhappy and him not understanding why.
“It was so simple. He regrets it, and that’s the best feeling he can show and to have the humility to apologise is remarkable because sometimes young people make mistakes and do not realise.”
Mourinho on FA charge for Alli
“I’m not the FA,” he replied when asked on a possible punishment.
“I’m his manager. His friend.
“I repeat, he’s the same age as some great kids in my house. I have to act as an educator and the best way to do it is immediately his reaction. Regret and apologise. So game over.”
Mourinho on options
“We are no more limited to Steven Bergwijn, Ben Davies is back and ready to play. Giovani Lo Celso is ready to play, Erik Lamela we have to assess tomorrow but if not for Sunday then for Wednesday.
“Juan Foyth is still out a little bit and apart from Moussa Sissoko and Harry Kane we’re fine.
“The situation is getting better for us at the right time because we have lots of matches.
Mourinho on Vertonghen
“A fantastic professional,” he said.
“I can only say good things, not one bad thing. He came off sad, I’m happy he’s like that, he wants to play, give 90 minutes and I accept he came out sad and angry.
“Especially because he showed respect to my decision & the team and at the end, qualification to the next round and he was as happy as everybody else.
“And by the way, congratulations to Toby who had a little baby. His wife takes care of the baby, tomorrow he is back to his job.”
Mourinho is a big, big fan of Lo Celso
“He can play everywhere – 10, 8, midfield player with Harry Winks.
“On the right, the left, everywhere. I’m so, so happy with him. I like him very, very much.”
Mourinho on the winter break
“We had a good week with three very good training sessions.
“Of course, if we didn’t play Southampton we would have been back earlier so we had less time for training but we had three very good days, going through different aspects of our game, trying to improve them.”
Jose Mourinho has just left the Hotspur Way auditorium following a typically absorbing press conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa.
I’m going to be answering your questions for the next 45 minutes or so.
Here’s a write-up of what Mourinho said on his conversation with Dele Alli about the midfielder’s Snapchat video mocking the Coronavirus outbreak.
Q: Now Davies is back, what does this mean for Tanganga? (@N17yids1)
A: Mourinho says Davies is still not fit enough to play two or three matches in a row, so I expect Tanganga will start one of Villa or Leipzig as the “inverted left-back”. But he is yet to start for the first-team in his natural position of centre-half, despite impressing as a full-back. Mourinho really values his pace and aggression, so I expect he will be the first reverse in all three positions across the back four once Davies is fully up to speed.
Q: Will Jan Vertonghen sign a new contract? (@Tottenham_68)
A: Mourinho said at the end of last year that he wants Vertonghen to sign a new deal and suggested his agent was proving an unwelcome stumbling block in negotiations. Since then, Tanganga has broken through and Vertonghen’s performances have deteriorated, culminating in his unhappy substitution against Saints. This is just my opinion, but it’s becoming harder to see Spurs and Vertonghen come to an agreement and it may be best for all parties if he leaves on a free at the end of the season.
Q: What is the club’s long-term view on Foyth? Could he be loaned out next season or will he be sold? (Reddit’s u/fridgesonfire’)
A: Mourinho was initially impressed by Foyth but his performance against Norwich on December 28 really set him back – and now he is sidelined with a groin injury. Pochettino felt Foyth’s potential was massive and I’m sure the club would love him to be a success. Mourinho, however, is clearly unconvinced and he has now slipped below Tanganga in the pecking order. At this stage, a loan or a permanent exit next summer seems the most likely outcome but plenty can change between now and the end of the season, of course.
Q: Who would your player of the year be so far? (@TimmyRyan3)
A: It says plenty about Tottenham’s strange season that this is such a difficult question to answer! At the moment, I would probably plump for Alderweireld, who has been a solid and consistent presence in a shaky defence. By the end of the campaign, I expect Lo Celso, Tanganga and perhaps Son could be stronger contenders. And only a fool would completely write off Aurier!
Q: Poch was renowned for his hugs, what’s Jose’s style? (@Icarustumbling)
A: He seems to be a handshake guy but I will keep you posted.
Q: Do Amos and Skipp have a future at Tottenham? (Reddit user u/yorsk)
A: Skipp, yes. Mourinho name-checked him today and suggested that Skipp and Tanganga were in similar situations but Skipp’s big opportunity hadn’t come up yet. As for Amos, I very much doubt it. Spurs have so many options in his position now – Gedson the latest – that it is very hard to see a path to the first team for him.
Q: Grealish or Maddison a target in the summer? (@ThatOneJuicer)
A: Grealish and Maddison were Spurs targets at different points in the past but I think the club has missed the boat with both. They’d both command huge fees now and I doubt Spurs could compete in a bidding war with the likes of Manchester United. If I had to pick, I’d choose Grealish. He feels very Spurs to me.
Q: Are Spurs interested in Ebere Eze? (@Swenty_)
A: Spurs have admired Eze for a while, so I expect he still is on their radar given his form at QPR this season.
Q: What academy players are on Mourinho’s radar? Who can we expect to see get first team time soon? (Reddit user u/nivnart)
A: I expect Dennis Cirkin will be the next academy player to be given a first-team debut, although that may have to wait until next season. Young centre-half Malachi Walcott has also been involved in first team training on a number of occasions, so Mourinho has clearly seen something in him.
Q: Are there any players in the squad that are currently being under-utilised and could solve our problems? (Reddit user u/hotsietrotsky)
A: Foyth, perhaps. He’s only played against Bayern and Norwich under Mourinho, so he’s hardly had a fair chance to show what he can do. Various people at Spurs feel he is still very raw – and needs a loan – but he obviously has huge potential to be a modern, technical centre-half who could fill Vertonghen’s boots long-term. He should be back to fitness next week, so it’d be good to see him get some opportunities as the fixtures pile-up.
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