Brentford manager Mark Warburton has moved to quash fears that Tottenham could exercise their recall clause in midfielder Alex Pritchard’s loan contract in order to farm him out to a Premier League suitor.
Burnley and West Brom are both thought to be keen on the 21-year-old, but the Bees boss doesn’t believe Spurs – 6/5 to beat Hull next – would be interested in re-housing him.
It’s a notion news.bwin.com/en/ are inclined to agree with, though the possibility of a recall is one Brentford would be foolish to disregard.
Given the Lilywhites’ woeful form of late, it’s not entirely inconceivable that string-pulling Pritchard follows Ryan Mason from the periphery into the first-team picture.
The England Under-21 man has been a key member of the Brentford side that’s raced into the Championship play-off debate in recent weeks, scoring three goals and assisting two more in his 15 starts.
While these stats are respectable, it’s his contribution in other areas that render Pritchard the exact type of player Spurs require to stem their slide.
Mauricio Pochettino’s midfield has been lacking an individual able to scythe defences apart with penetrative passes.
Erik Lamela currently boasts the best key pass per game average of those available to the Argentine, typically making 1.8 would-be assists every time he dons the all-white jersey.
Pritchard’s mean is 2.3, while a 1.6 cross and 1.1 long ball average is a testament to the range of passing he has in his locker.
Of all the Spurs central midfielders, Nabil Bentaleb is the most likely to provide a key ball, though his average is a paltry 0.8 accumulated from a meagre four appearances.
The next best is Ryan Mason with 0.7, though his inclusion in the team is more to do with the high intensity with which he plays than ability to conjure chances.
Pritchard could inject this sorely missed aspect into the Tottenham midfield and, given the joy Pochettino has extracted from fielding academy players during his Premier League career, he may well be considering bringing him back in January.
The youngster is a 3/1 shot to make a top-flight appearance this season.