Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Loanees return

So With the season now having come to an end, Messrs Corluka, Jenas, Naughton, Pienaar, Bassong, Falque and Townsend all return. But what can we expect for these 6 over the next few months.

We'll start with our returning right backs. In his first two seasons Vedran was somewhat of a fans favourite and seemed to complement Lennon perfectly on the right side of the pitch. However it seemed that the purchases of Walker & Naughton seemed to coincide with a drop in form and possibly confidence and his performances disappointed. Fed up of playing 2nd fiddle to Walker he went out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen and by all reports has done Ok, but hasn't pulled up any tree's. With Walker securely holding the right back position and Naughton returning it would be no surprise to see Corluka go as I think sadly the club have now outgrown him and his lack of pace is worrying. Naughton is desperate for games and has voiced that he wants first team football next year but there is no doubt the boy has talent and if he is willing to stay can take some of the pressure off young Walker.

Bassong has been waning ever since his first season and just doesn't look like he has he quality or consistency to hold down a place in the Spurs squad now and it wouldn't come as a surprise to see him leave with the return of Caulker and potentially the Vertonghen deal in the pipeline. Plenty of French clubs will no doubt be interested and we'll most likely have to take a loss on our investment here.

Pienaar is a tricky one. There's no doubting he's a fantastically talented player as he's shown in his loan spell back at former club Everton but the problem lies in the fact that he plays in the same position as Bale or Van Der Vaart, arguably two of our best players. If Pienaar is happy to stay and battle for his place it would be a delight to have him. But one can't help but feel his heart is elsewhere, especially having seen his tearful goodbye at Goodison on Sunday and it may be mutually agreed that Pienaar's future lies elsewhere. Right now we haven't reached the point as a club where players are happy to be second choice if they are of Pienaar's quality so an offer of around £6 million will most likely put an end to his brief spell at the club.

Right now the strongest position for depth in our squad is without doubt the central midfield and this could spell the end for Jermaine Jenas. With Parker, Sandro, Modric, Huddlestone, Livermore and VDV all able to play the position Jenas is unlikely to want to continue to stagnate at an age where players are considered to be hitting their prime. He's served the club well with the last minute goal against Arsenal in the 2-2 draw back in 2007 coming to mind in particular but if a club comes in with interest towards him it's probably best for both club and player to part ways.

Falque and Townsend pose arguably the toughest decisions of the lot, both no longer teenage prospects. The management will need to have a look at the pair and decide whether they are likely to have an impact in the future for the club or if it's time to let them go. Townsend has been playing regularly for Birmingham and Chris Hughton clearly rates him fairly highly so it's unlikely that he'll be let go this season having only just turned 20 but Falque's limited appearances for the Saints is worrying to say the least as a decent prospect should be getting games for a Championship sides.

Whatever happens it's sure to be a busy pre-season for player departures and these six will need to prove their commitment to the cause and ability to still be a part of the squad come August.

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