Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Surprise star to save Tottenham millions, with Maddison replacement named as Postecoglou’s ‘creative spark’

Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou

Bryan Gil could save Tottenham Hotspur significant money in the January transfer window, as one pundit has tipped him to fill in for playmaker James Maddison.

England international Maddison has been crucial to Tottenham’s success since joining from Leicester City in the summer. He immediately succeeded from Harry Kane as Tottenham’s main creator and soon went on to form a great partnership with Son Heung-min.

Maddison registered three goals and five assists in his first 12 matches for the North London side. However, his fantastic form was cruelly ended by an ankle injury suffered against Chelsea on November 6.

That game proved to be a disaster for manager Ange Postecoglou, as both Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie got sent off, while Micky van de Ven picked up a serious hamstring problem.

Maddison and Van De Ven will both be out until the new year, while Richarlison is also recovering from surgery on a pelvic issue. Those injuries have left Postecoglou’s squad seriously depleted.

The Tottenham hierarchy may now be considering signing a new attacking midfielder who can help Postecoglou while Maddison gets back to full fitness. Dejan Kulusevski has also been tipped to come inside from the right flank and play more centrally.

READ MORE: Postecoglou told £25m Tottenham deal for Liverpool target ‘can be done’ in January, with Man Utd fancy off the table

But former right-back Alan Hutton, who made 66 appearances for Spurs between 2008 and 2011, actually thinks Gil might be able to become the new ‘creative spark’ in the team.

In an interview with Football Insider, Hutton was asked about Gil’s first start of the season, which came in the 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa on Sunday. He replied: “I didn’t expect it at all.

Tottenham flop can ’cause problems’ as new role beckons

“Gil’s come on in the past and he definitely has the ability to cause defenders problems.

“He can see a pass as well, so if Tottenham are looking for that creative spark, it could be him.

“We can’t really judge him on this performance. People will claim that this was his opportunity, but he played well at times. But he definitely needs a run of games.

“You can’t expect someone to come in from the cold and be unbelievable – it very rarely happens.

“So if he gets that opportunity to shine, I think he can, but it’s harsh to judge him on this one performance.”

It would be a big shock if Gil came into the team and established himself as a key attacker for Postecoglou. Since joining Spurs from Sevilla in 2021, the winger has struggled to make an impact under several managers.

He has even been loaned back to his native Spain through Valencia and Sevilla in an attempt to regain his confidence.

But Maddison’s absence could give the 22-year-old an opportunity to force his way into Postecoglou’s thinking. And the manager appears to be great at getting the best out of underperforming players, so he could help Gil turn his Spurs career around.

Meanwhile, Postecoglou has reportedly urged Spurs to battle Liverpool and Man Utd in the chase for a top European defender.