One of Mauricio Pochettino’s main aims as Tottenham boss, it would appear, is to sign one of his former Southampton players.
Jay Rodriguez, Morgan Schneiderlin and Adam Lallana are among the Saints to have worked under the Argentine at St Mary’s to be heavily linked with White Hart Lane switches following his departure.
As of yet, each of Pochettino’s schemes have been stymied, but he’s nothing if not persistent and has now turned his attentions to Victor Wanyama.
Signed by the current Spurs supremo from Celtic for £12m, widespread reports indicate the Kenyan walking wardrobe has scaled to the top of the Lilywhites’ shortlist, prompting the bookies to go 11/5 about the deal being sealed by September 4th.
Southampton have been quick to dismiss the prospect of yet another superstar sale, but is another box-to-box midfielder what the north Londoners need?
Mousa Dembele is best deployed in the same role, yet the Belgian has rarely found himself in favour under Pochettino.
Both matches this season have seen him start, a count that equates to a fifth of the Premier League games he began last term.
Dele Alli, a summer signing from MK Dons, is one of the best English youngsters of this guise and needs games to aid his development, while Ryan Mason has proved himself capable, if not brilliant, in the position too.
Their box-to-box stocks are brimming, but what Spurs lack in centre-midfield is guile, a deficiency that can be addressed with another Pochettino-coached Saints star.
James Ward-Prowse is the St Mary’s asset they should be chasing.
The 20-year-old’s creative prowess was underlined last season when he laid on six assists in just 16 starts for Southampton, the bulk of which were made in an unfavoured right-wing berth.
With 75 appearances for the south coast club, he is vastly experienced in the top-flight for his age, while his signing also carries the added bonus of an extra homegrown player in the ranks, almost as valuable a commodity as an oil field buried below the stadium.
Almost half of his Saints outings came during Pochettino’s only full campaign at the helm, a degree of trust displayed that exemplifies how highly he’s rated by the Argentine, and his addition would inject some much-needed creativity to a team that relies too heavily on Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli.