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3 Top-class right-backs Tottenham should look to target in January including this Barcelona speed demon

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3 right-backs Spurs should look to target in January

Spurs have been anything but spectacular in the opening rounds of the Premier League and Mauricio Pochettino will know that he has got his work cut out if the Lilywhites are to mount a serious challenge for the league title this term. 

The North London giants went into the international break with only a solitary win in their first four fixtures and while a 2-2 draw against Arsenal in the derby looked like a fair result, the fans certainly won’t be pleased with the team’s slip-up at home against Newcastle United. 

Indeed, Spurs can ill-afford to drop such crucial points against mediocre sides on their home turf and the early signs are somewhat alarming for their title surge.

They came out of their miserly habits to grab the headlines with a club-record deal for Tanguy Ndombele this summer but if the first four games in the Premier League are anything to go by, Pochettino still has plenty of holes to plug in his squad in a bid to challenge Liverpool and Man City for the title.

Pochettino made a brave call in the summer when he opted against bringing in a replacement at right-back following the departure of Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid. That decision, though, has come back to haunt the manager very early in the season. 

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Indeed, academy star Kyle Walker-Peters showed a lot of promise in the first three fixtures but Spurs found themselves in a big hole when the youngster was forced off with an injury against Newcastle, with Serge Aurier frozen out of the squad for reasons we can only speculate on.

And Davinson Sanchez’s miserable display against Arsenal in a makeshift role on the right further exposed the lack of depth in that area of the pitch. With that in mind, let us take a look at 3 realistic right-back options that the Lilywhites can consider in January. 

1. Hiroki Sakai

The vastly experienced Japanese international was repeatedly linked with a move to North London in the summer transfer window (h/t Sky Sports) and Spurs should consider dipping in the market for the 29-year-old in a bid to add more stability to their right-back options. 

Hiroki Sakai

Sakai made over 100 appearances for Hannover 96 in the German Bundesliga before moving to Marseille, where he has played as one of the mainstays of the backline for the past three campaigns.

A strong, energetic and tenacious attack-minded right-back with well-rounded attributes, Sakai might not fall in the bracket of a promising young talent but he does have the experience at the highest level to solve a key issue for Pochettino in a crucial area of the pitch.

2. Youcef Atal 

Perhaps a more realistic option for Spurs due to his age, the 23-year-old has emerged as one of the most exciting full-backs in Ligue 1 with his impressive displays at OGC Nice.

The Algerian international was linked with a move to Spurs in January last season and they might as well look to revisit their interest in the jet-heeled defender once again in this winter following his stellar run of form under Patrick Vieira.

Atal still has plenty of room for development and Pochettino will fancy his chances of transforming him into a better defender in the future. 

3. Nelson Semedo 

Both Man United and Spurs were linked with a move for the out-of-favour Barcelona defender this summer, with the Sun suggesting that he was likely to be available for around £30million after struggling to nail down a regular starting role under Ernesto Valverde at Camp Nou.

The Portuguese international was tipped for stardom in the La Liga following an impressive start to his career at Benfica but things haven’t quite gone according to plan for the 25-year-old. 

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He still has plenty of time on his side though, and Spurs should look to offer him an escape route to resurrect his career.

Arsenal

[Image] Man United vs Arsenal: Star-studded combined XI featuring 4 Red Devils and 7 Gunners

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Man United vs Arsenal: Combined XI featuring 4 Red Devils and 7 Gunners

After a round of EFL Cup fixtures, Premier League action is set to return this weekend with plenty of thrills and spills and the high-octane clash between Man United and Arsenal on Monday night is undoubtedly going to be one of the main attractions of matchweek 7. 

Both the teams won their EFL Cup fixtures, with Arsenal handing Nottingham Forest a 5-0 drubbing and Man United somehow edging past a lowly Rochdale in the penalty shootout. 

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Arsenal are currently placed 4th in the Premier League standings after a 3-2 victory over Aston Villa last week and the fans will be expecting the Gunners to continue their winning run, while Man United will have their work cut out away from home after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham last week. 

Combined XI

Bernd Leno (GK)

The German has proven his worth between the sticks on numerous occasions with some fine saves this season and he certainly deserves the nod over de Gea, who has been a bit inconsistent. 

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB)

The youngster has proven himself to be an excellent addition to Man United’s backline and it is a no-brainer that he has fared way better than Maitland-Niles in that position.

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Harry Maguire (CB)

The England international has added a lot of steel to United’s backline following his big-money move from Leicester City earlier in the summer. One of the best centre-backs in the Premier League, he definitely deserves a place ahead of the error-prone David Luiz in the elite combined line-up. 

Sokratis (CB)

The Greek international has hardly been at his best but Victor Lindelof too, has been equally lacklustre and there isn’t really a lot to choose between them so far this term.

Kieran Tierney (LB)

The Scotsman made his first start for the Gunners since his move from Celtic back in August and the fans will be expecting him to play a big part on Monday if he starts.

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Matteo Guendouzi (CDM)

The Frenchman has arguably been Arsenal’s most influential presence in the middle of the park with his excellent all-round game, leapfrogging Fred, Matic, Xhaka and Torreira on the performance charts. 

Scott McTominay (CDM)

The youngster has really come of age for United this term and his combative and energetic displays in the middle of the park have caught the eye amidst a lot of mediocrity from his teammates, including star man Paul Pogba. 

Nicolas Pepe (RW)

The Ivorian is currently on high spirits after bagging his first goal for Arsenal against Aston Villa last week and though he hasn’t done anything spectacular yet, there is hardly a better player from either team in that role. 

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Daniel James (LW)

The former Swansea City starlet has taken the Premier League by storm this season and he will be United’s best bet to find the net on Monday. 

Dani Ceballos (CAM)

The Spaniard has shown a lot of promise in that No.10 role for the Gunners and he definitely deserves the nod ahead of big names like Juan Mata and Mesut Ozil.

To Read More Arsenal News, Click here:- Latest Arsenal News

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

The Gabonese international has become a nemesis for the defenders in the Premier League and with an impressive tally 6 goals in 6 league outings this season, Arsenal will look up to him to propel them to a victory over rivals United on Monday. 

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No Eriksen, no problem – 3 top-class replacements who Tottenham can consider including these Serie A stars

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3 ideal replacements for Christian Eriksen at Tottenham next summer

Tottenham came out of their miserly habits to spend big this summer but the Lilywhites still have plenty of issues to sort out after an indifferent start to the Premier League campaign. 

The North Londoners grabbed the headlines with big-money deals for Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon earlier in the summer but if the first seven games are anything to go by, Spurs still have plenty of gaps to plug if they are to push on under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino and ultimately challenge for the Premier League crown.

Indeed, the arrival of Lo Celso and club-record signing Tanguy Ndombele has strengthened Spurs’ cavalry in the middle of the park but Pochettino is likely to have a few more targets high on his wishlist for the upcoming transfer windows. 

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While a replacement for Kieran Tripper continues to be a nagging issue, the transfer saga involving influential playmaker Christian Eriksen has turned into a big distraction for the club, with the Dane stalling over signing a new deal. 

Eriksen, who is out of contract next summer, continues to be a game-changer for Spurs but the Lilywhites might as well start preparing for life without him next summer. 

It’s pretty evident that he has his heart set on a move to a bigger club to challenge for silverware and reach greater heights and to that end, it is in the best interests of everyone that Spurs let him depart for free next summer or cash in on him in January to fund a move for a replacement.

Talking about a genuine replacement for a player of his calibre, Spurs have got the option to iron out a permanent deal for Lo Celso, who is widely regarded as one of the best all-round midfielders in the modern game.

However, they have the choice to look at other options as well, and here are 3 ideal replacements for the Dane:

1. Paulo Dybala 

The Argentinian stalwart has been forced to take a back seat at Juventus following the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer and Spurs should look to go back in the market for the 25-year-old after failing to get a deal over the line in the summer. (h/t Express)

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The left-footed magician has the playmaking abilities and the natural skill set to fill in the void left by Eriksen, while his versatility to operate in multiple roles in the attacking third could be a massive boost to Pochettino’s team dynamics. 

Dybala is one of the best playmaking forwards in the world and Pochettino’s union with his compatriot could transform Spurs into strong title contenders for the upcoming season. 

2. Nicolo Zaniolo 

Spurs were repeatedly linked with a move for the 20-year-old Italian in the summer following his impressive breakthrough season at Roma last term. (h/t Daily Mail)

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The Lilywhites can certainly afford to look at the youngster as a smart long-term investment but unlike Dybala, he is not really a finished article and Pochettino would need to polish him to a considerable extent to transform him into a player capable of making an impact in the highly competitive atmosphere of the Premier League. 

Zaniolo has illustrated the versatility to play everywhere across the midfield, with his good turn of pace, natural finesse and ability to pick out key passes being some of his most impressive attributes. 

The Italian, though, is held in high regard at Roma due to his tremendous potential, and he certainly won’t come cheap. 

3. James Maddison

Perhaps the best like-to-like playmaking replacement for Eriksen, the 22-year-old Englishman has carved out a massive reputation for himself at Leicester City as one of the hottest talents across the nation. 

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He has been linked with Spurs (h/t Express) and it is a no-brainer for the club to go out all in their pursuit of the Leicester City star.

To Read More Spurs News, Click Here:- Latest Spurs News

The youngster not only has the work rate to shoulder the burden of being Spurs’ main man in the middle of the park but he also has the ability to change the whole complexion of the game with his eye for goals and assists. Going by his current form, Maddison would be a dream signing for Tottenham.

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Arsenal

[Image] Predicted 4-2-3-1 Arsenal XI to face Man United – Xhaka out, Torreira in?

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Predicted Arsenal XI to face Man United in the Premier League

Having edged past Aston Villa in a five-goal thriller last week, Arsenal continued their winning habit with a 5-0 drubbing of Nottingham Forest in the third round of the EFL Cup on Wednesday. 

The Gunners, though, will face a real test of their credentials when they make the trip to Old Trafford to face Man United, who recovered from a 2-0 defeat away at West Ham last week to earn a penalty shootout victory over Rochdale in the EFL Cup.

Unai Emery’s side currently sit 4th in the Premier League standings and they will be looking to finish the week inside the top four. 

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Team News

Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin all returned to action in the midweek fixture and their availability before the crunch game at Old Trafford is likely to be a massive boost for Unai Emery, although he will be expected to make a few changes to the eleven that played against Nottingham Forest.

Emile Smith Rowe picked up a knock in the EFL Cup, although the decision to substitute him was more of a precautionary measure.

Konstantinos Mavropanos and Alexandre Lacazette are unlikely to be a part of the matchday squad for Monday night’s encounter but Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be back after serving a one-game suspension for the red card that he picked up last week.

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Predicted XI

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Bernd Leno (GK)

The German was hardly at fault for any of the goals that Arsenal conceded against Aston Villa last week and he is expected to return to the eleven in place of Emiliano Martinez.

Hector Bellerin (RB)

The Spaniard came on as a substitute against Forest on Wednesday but the Gunners will be hoping that he is ready to start at Old Trafford ahead of Maitland-Niles and Calum Chambers. 

Rob Holding (CB)

The centre-back put in an assured display at the heart of the defence upon his return from injury in the midweek game and he could find himself ahead of David Luiz in the pecking order. 

Sokratis Papastathopoulos (CB)

The Greek international should be fresh and ready to start at Old Trafford after being rested for the EFL Cup game. 

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Kieran Tierney (LB)

The former Celtic man didn’t play the full ninety minutes against Forest but he should replace the lacklustre Sead Kolasinac on Monday in what would be his Premier League debut. 

Matteo Guendouzi (CM)

The Frenchman has emerged as an indispensable weapon for Arsenal in the middle of the park with his superb all-round game and he should return to the eleven after being rested for the cup tie.

Lucas Torreira (CM)

Granit Xhaka has had a few shocking outings in the Premier League this term and one does get the feeling that Torreira deserves a spot in the playing eleven. 

Nicolas Pepe (RW)

The Ivorian will be expected to deliver the goods in the high-octane clash against Man United after scoring his first goal against Villa last week.

Dani Ceballos (CAM)

The Spaniard has proven himself to be an influential addition to Arsenal’s ranks this season and he certainly deserves a start ahead of Mesut Ozil. 

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Reiss Nelson (LW)

The academy graduate has shown a lot of promise this term and he might get the nod ahead of Bukayo Saka, who was equally impressive against Aston Villa.

To Read More Arsenal News, Click Here:- Latest Arsenal News

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (ST)

He just can’t stop scoring at the moment, can he? The Gabonese talisman has already bagged 6 goals in 6 games in the Premier League this season and Arsenal will need him to fire on all cylinders once again.

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