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Spurs to hang on to attacking duo

27 Aug 2014 17:01:52

Spurs to hang on to attacking duo

Mauricio Pochettino has no intention of letting Roberto Soldado and Andros Townsend leave before the end of the transfer window, insisting both men have important roles to play at Tottenham.

Having swapped Southampton for north London in the summer, life at White Hart Lane could not have started much better for the former Argentina defender.

Barclays Premier League victories over London rivals West Ham and QPR bookended a comeback win in Cyprus against AEL Limassol in the Europa League play-offs.

Soldado netted a wonderful first-half leveller in a first leg Tottenham went onto win 2-1, although speculation continues to mount about the Spain international's future ahead of the second leg.

AC Milan have been strongly linked with the forward, who Pochettino has no intention of letting go despite struggling since his £26million move from Valencia last year.

"Soldado is here," he said. "I never talk about any player rumours.

"He is in my plans. For the future? Yes. We've only had two games in the Premier League and one in the Europa League.

"I believe in all the squad. It is important you know I can only pick 11."

A problem with his back and neck means Soldado will not be involved in Thursday's second leg against AEL as Spurs look to reach the Europa League group stages.

Pochettino did, though, confirm winger Townsend will be in the squad to face the Cypriots, having been dropped from the 18 that beat former club QPR 4-0 at the weekend.

Like Soldado, the England international has been the subject of interest from elsewhere and, despite QPR and Southampton reportedly sniffing around, he too will be staying put.

"He is in my plans," Pochettino said of Townsend. "It is impossible you play or have in the squad only 11 players - you need 24 or 25 players.

"I think we have to play a lot of games and it is possible you play tomorrow, then don't play in the next Premier League game, but the most important thing is understanding that we need to choose for the games.

"It is only 11 in each game after that another three impact players come in.

"We have an unbelievable squad and my job is not only to put my philosophy in the club or on the pitch on how we need to play, but I need choice and that is my job."

One player Spurs have let go is club captain Michael Dawson, who on Tuesday completed his move to Hull for a fee understood to be in the region of £6million.

Villarreal's Mateo Musacchio had been expected to come in as his replacement, but now a deal for Sevilla centre-back Federico Fazio appears more likely.

Pochettino would not talk about either player but admitted he needed centre-backs with different characteristics.

"We need to have different options in this position," he said. "Okay, we have Younes Kaboul, we have Vertonghen, we have Vlad, we have Dier, we have Fryers, Veljkovic.

"All different players, all different characteristics and it's important to add some players and after you can choose in every game the best options."

As well as leaving Spurs in need of another defensive option, Dawson's exit to Hull means they need a new captain.

Kaboul skippered the side in both of their league matches and Hugo Lloris was captain against AEL, with Pochettino not planning to make a permanent choice until after the window.

"It is important that we have many leaders in the group, in the squad," he said. "Only you need to wait a few days to know the new captain.

"In the last game against Limassol, it was Lloris. In the two Premier League games it was Younes Kaboul. For tomorrow, maybe we repeat Hugo or another."


PA

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