Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham working on FOUR new signings but defensive struggler could earn stay of execution

Ange Postecoglou Tottenham

Ange Postecoglou is ready to revamp his Tottenham squad

Tottenham are reportedly working on adding at least four new players this summer, with defence a major priority due to concerns over first-choice centre-back pairing Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven.

Ange Postecoglou’s men looked sound defensively during that unbeaten 10-match run at the start of the campaign but Romero’s red card against Chelsea and subsequent ban, plus a serious hamstring injury for Van de Ven in the same game started a worrying defensive trend.

With Eric Dier loaned out to Bayern Munich and Japhet Tanganga at Millwall, that left Ben Davies and Emerson Royal having to fill in centrally while the duo were out.

Romanian defender Radu Dragusin was signed in January to add cover for the position but he’s hardly featured in the second half of the campaign, with Romero and Van de Ven able to reform their partnership.

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But conceding goals has been a major issue for Tottenham and is almost certainly the reason for them probably missing out on Champions League football next season.

Postecoglou’s men have let in 59 in 36 Premier League outings, which is comfortably the worst in the top seven and is largely down to the open nature of their football.

Indeed, Postecoglou is not a fan of deploying an out-and-out defensive midfielder to protect his back four, something he may choose to rethink when he reflects on his first season as a top-flight manager in England.

However, it’s been reported that concerns over Romero’s discipline and the outstanding Van de Ven’s hamstring issues means the club are looking to land at least one or potentially two new central defenders to join Dragusin in the mix, while cover is also required for full-backs Destiny Udogie and Pedro Porro.

There will certainly be defensive exits this summer, with Dier already on his way to Bayern permanently while Ben Davies, Tanganga and Djed Spence could also be on the way.

That will leave Postecoglou light on cover, with rumours already rife over a move for Spurs old boy Kyle Walker-Peters, who is able to cover both full-back positions.

But speaking to Football Insider’s Inside Track podcast, transfer insider Pete O’Rourke revealed where he thinks Tottenham need to focus much of their summer recruitment.

He said: “It’s the back four, defensively. Van de Ven and Romero, the cover that they need. Dragusin has come in and we’ve not really seen much of him.

“With Van de Ven’s injury record, and Romero’s injury record and suspensions, we know they’re not going to play a full season.

“The full-back areas as well.

“I think they struggled with Ben Davies at left-back when they played against Arsenal. Bukayo Saka caused him a lot of problems.

“When Udogie and Porro are not fit, the strength in depth that they’ve got in these areas, the manager needs to rejuvenate the squad.

“He played against Manchester City with four full-backs across the back four. That’s obviously an area of glaring need.”

Emerson set to keep his Spurs

One name we didn’t mention regarding summer exits was right-back Emerson Royal, who looks like he might just avoid the cull.

A different report suggests Tottenham still believe Emerson has something to offer and are keen to keep him as cover going forward.

The former Barcelona man, who is known to be a target for Milan, has been a solid performer on the right and in the centre when called upon but struggled badly at left-back in defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool.

But in terms of which centre-backs could be Spurs-bound, TEAMtalk have learned that two top targets – Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly and Fulham star Tosin Adarabioyo – are on the way to Newcastle in a double blow for Postecoglou.

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Having signed Romero and Dragusin from Italy, the club have been linked with a Serie A raid again in the form of Bologna centre-back Riccardo Calafiori.

The 21-year-old is viewed as perfect cover for Romero and Van de Ven and is good enough to challenge either if their form drops off.