Reports that Schalke and Germany regular Benedikt Howedes is ‘top of Spurs’ shopping list’ ahead of the transfer window reopening this summer will surprise few football watchers given the Lilywhites’ record of buying defenders in recent summers.
The black and gold boys at bwin still see a Howedes switch to White Hart Lane as unlikely at 6/1, with a raft of top clubs, including Manchester United and Arsenal, mentioned in the same breath as the 27-year-old since his success in Die Mannschaft’s backline at the World Cup.
However, the current makeup of Spurs’ defence suggests he would be the perfect Lilywhites signing, as Howedes is a centre-half who spends plenty of time filling in at right-back, particularly for his country.
It seems you have to be able to turn out in at least two positions to play at the back for Spurs, as this crew can attest to:
The 27-year-old often finds himself at left-back for his country, who have the likes of Vincent Kompany, Toby Alderweireld and Thomas Vermaelen (when fit) able to play at centre-half.
Despite turning up out wide a number of times for Spurs last term, Vertonghen generally starts in his preferred position.
The Romanian made it back into Spurs’ Premier League starting lineup for the first time since late December in the 0-0 draw at Burnley last time out, having struggled for form earlier on in the campaign at centre-half and right-back.
Thought to be a left-winger when rocketing home a 30-yard screamer against Arsenal in his first start for the club five years ago, Rose has been first-choice left-back since Mauricio Pochettino took over at White Hart Lane, having been converted during Andre Villas-Boas’ short spell in north London.
Bought from Swansea during the summer as direct competition for Rose, the Welsh international can also move inside and do a job at centre-half.
The lesser-spotted Frenchman can’t even get on Spurs’ bench at the moment, despite being bought 18 months ago as a utility back/holding midfielder who scores goals (seven in 34 Ligue 1 matches during his last season at Toulouse).
The England Under-21 regular is ideally built for centre-half at a blocky 6ft2in, and played directly in front of Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris at the start of the season, when Pochettino struggled like mad for fit defenders.
Dier moved over to right-back for the visit of Liverpool in August, when Brendan Rodgers’ side were full value for their 3-0 win, but the youngster has started all of his side’s past six games at centre-half.