Ben Foster and Chris Smalling Enter Tottenham Hotspur Transfer Radar
Increased Competition in Goal
Tottenham’s goalkeeper troubles this season has seen them spark surprise interest in 36-year-old Ben Foster. The interest, reported by The Sun’s Dave Fraser, comes days after Foster played a part in Watford’s result of the season, ending Liverpool’s 27-game unbeaten run. Foster is in the midst of his second season as Watford number one, however his contract is expiring this summer.
Tottenham could turn to Foster’s services for some healthy competition, with current first-choice Hugo Lloris encountering a mixed campaign. The Frenchman suffered a lengthy injury lay-off in the early stages in the defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion earlier this season but has returned to action impressively since. Argentine Paulo Gazzaniga stepped in briefly to cover Lloris’ absence and, at times, produced moments of brilliance. Those moments were, however, overshadowed by frequent errors that saw any chance of him retaining a starting spot fade away.
Michel Vorm’s return to North London has seen him take a more backseat role, having yet to feature at all since signing as a free agent in October. The potential acquisition of Foster may look to address issues with form and add further cover. The Englishman can provide healthy competition for the current union of goalkeepers at Spurs, with his ability to maintain performances at the top level evident to see.
Looking to Address Defensive Issues
Aside from the goalkeeper conundrum, Tottenham have reportedly been interested in bringing in out-of-favour Manchester United defender Chris Smalling, according to Neil Fissler of The Express. The 30-year-old, who is on loan at AS Roma, has impressed in his stint abroad. However, Smalling’s performances may see the Serie A club look to make the deal permanent in the summer. Spurs have continued to monitor the Englishman’s progress as their issues throughout the season continue to occur.
Mourinho may seek to be reunited with Smalling, who both worked with each other for three seasons at Manchester United. The Portuguese, who has developed a knack for transforming leaky back-lines, appears to have hit a stumbling block at Tottenham. Belgian duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen have looked leggy and cumbersome while Davinson Sanchez has produced good moments but struggled to deliver them on a consistent basis.
Starlet Japhet Tanganga, who has primarily been used as a full-back, made a rare appearance in the heart of Spurs’ defence against Wolverhampton Wanderers. The 20-year-old struggled to impose himself in the defeat, and the rawness of his game unfortunately showed.
Smalling’s positive impression in Italy has attracted the interest of Spurs, who may have to meet a £17 million asking price set by United. With Vertonghen’s contract expiring in the summer, questions of a replacement will undoubtedly arise. Smalling’s rediscovery of consistent form abroad could see him be the man to plug that gap. A return to England could be on the cards, however, it is whether Roma decide to exercise a permanent deal.