Hoddle tells Tottenham to go and sign free-kick expert

Date published: Tuesday 5th January 2021 9:17 - Matthew Briggs

James Ward-Prowse Mo Salah TEAMtalk

Glenn Hoddle says Tottenham are lacking a creative playmaker since Christian Eriksen left and believes Spurs should target Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse.

Eriksen left the club for Inter Milan for just £16.9m and Jose Mourinho has yet to replace the creative void in his midfield.

Hoddle believes Jose Mourinho needs to hunt for a Bruno Fernandes type player. Fernandes has galvanised Manchester United since his arrival 12 months ago.

The Portugal star has been handed pretty much a free role in United’s midfield and his range of passing and goalscoring has jolted United into title contention.

Spurs did add to their midfielder in the summer, but Mourinho instead went for grit when he added Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Southampton. And Hoddles thinks Spurs should revisit Southampton and make a move for Ward-Prowse.

In recent years Spurs have signed a string of players from the south coast. Hojbjerg, Paulo Gazzaniga, Victor Wanyama and manager Mauricio Pochettino have all headed to the capital with plenty of success.

When asked what kind of player Spurs need, Hoddle said (via the Daily Express): “I would probably look at a player who can pick passes.

“Someone like Bruno Fernandes. When Christian Eriksen was on song for two-and-a-bit seasons, he could hit those passes to Dele Alli or Harry Kane or whoever made those runs.

“I am not sure if it is Jose Mourinho’s style of player. They have some decent players there, but Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele are different, they run with the ball, they are holders of the ball. But someone who can hurt you with a pass, a real creative player.

“I have said it before, I do not think Jose would like him but the lad at Southampton, James Ward-Prowse, would be a major asset. Him and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg would be a nice balance.”

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‘The best free-kick taker’

Ward-Prowse has been revitalised at Southampton under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The 26-year-old has adapted his game to fit with that of the Austrian and has become one of the most feared set-piece takers in the Premier League.

The midfielder, who has four England caps, is under contract until June 2025 and Transfermarkt has his value at £22.5m.

That however seems well short of his value to Saints. He has made 247 appearances in the Premier League, scoring 26 goals, including nine free-kicks since his debut in 2012.

It recently prompted Pep Guardiola to say: “They have the best free-kick taker I have seen in my life in [James] Ward-Prowse.”

This season in the Premier League the Saints captain has four goals and four assists from 17 games.

READ MORE: Tottenham’s shock transfer stance on Dele Alli revealed

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