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Tottenham’s international break to-do list: A defensive conundrum, a maverick midfielder and a new guy in town

Tottenham’s international break to-do list: A defensive conundrum, a maverick midfielder and a new guy in town



op of the table and the only Premier League team with maximum points. However, there are still issues to be tackled at Tottenham during the international break…

Get Joe Rodon up to speed

Nuno Espirito Santo is facing the unwelcome prospect of being without centre-backs Cristian Romero and Davinson Sanchez for up to 10 days after the pair were released for international duty in red-list countries, meaning they will have to quarantine on their return.

Without them, Eric Dier will be short of a partner against Crystal Palace and possibly in the Europa Conference League match against Rennes the following Thursday.

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Joe Rodon is yet to feature this season due to a minor injury but will use the international break to get up to speed.

After a promising European Championship, the Wales defender will be hoping for a breakthrough at Spurs and the fortnight offers an ideal opportunity to form a partnership with Dier in training.

Talks with Tanguy Ndombele

As late as Monday, there was still some hope at Tottenham of finding a buyer for Tanguy Ndombele but by deadline day morning the club had conceded he would be staying – at least until January.

Nuno – perhaps with help from chairman Daniel Levy – now faces the challenge of trying to spark another revival in Ndombele, just as Jose Mourinho managed a year ago.


It is increasingly clear that only Ndombele can turnaround his form – Nuno has said as much – but the manager will surely seek talks with the Frenchman during the international break.

Spurs need Ndombele to come good and have already missed the maverick midfielder, who would have helped break Wolves’ press in their win at Molineux, and added creativity against Watford on Sunday.

Run the rule over Emerson

Emerson Royal, the deadline-day signing from Barcelona, arrived from Spain this week and does not have to quarantine, so will be able to immediately join a skeleton squad in training.

The timing gives Nuno and the club the chance to run the rule over the Brazilian right-back and begin his integration into English football.

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Emerson should be ready to go having already made two appearances for Barca this season but Nuno can use the break to familiarise him with Tottenham’s style of play.