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How Tottenham could line up under the three most realistic next manager candidates

Brendan Rodgers has been installed as the bookies’ favourite to be the Tottenham manager on the opening day of the 2023/24 Premier League season, following the departure of Antonio Conte earlier in the season. 

Tottenham made the decision to part company with the Italian on Sunday 26 March, with Cristian Stellini taking charge of the club until the end of the season. But things didn’t turn out well for Conte’s former number two, with the Italian himself being replaced by Ryan Mason until the end of the campaign, after a shocking 6-1 defeat to Newcastle at St. James’ Park. 

The decision for Conte to depart the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was made following weeks of uncertainty and unrest and Spurs will now assess their options in the summer with a host of other of out-of-work managers available, including Graham Potter, Luis Enrique and Julian Nagelsmann. Although, the Spurs hierarchy seem to have distanced themselves from the former RB Leipzig and Bayern head-coach. 

Former boss Mauricio Pochettino, who led the side to their first ever Champions League final, was also heavily linked with a return to N17, but is now all set to replace Graham Potter at Spurs’ London rivals Chelsea.

Feyenoord boss, Arne Slot headed the betting market for a while but he has now, seemingly, ruled himself out of leaving the Dutch side this summer.

“I have been hearing a lot of rumours going around about other interest in me,” said Slot.

“Although I am thankful, my wish is to stay at Feyenoord and continue working on what we created last year.

“There is not – and there has not been – transfer conversation and yesterday’s meeting was exclusively for an extension. All talks with the club have always been only in that sense. Looking forward to next season with Feyenoord.”

With those three firmly out of the running, we’ve taken a look at who Daniel Levy and the Spurs board could turn to next and how Spurs could line-up next season under the three most realistic targets.

The futures of captain Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane are both up in the air, but for now we will be including both players and adding one new signing in each XI to help boost their side’s creativity. Even though Spurs need a lot more new additions this summer.

Luis Enrique

After the departures of more defensive minded coaches in Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte in recent seasons, Luis Enrique’s brand of exciting, attacking football would be a breath of fresh air at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The 53-year-old has taken charge of some of the biggest clubs around Europe and could see a move to North London as the next step in his managerial career.

The Spaniard showed his tactical versatility at Barcelona, as well as the Spanish National Team and this could be of benefit to a Spurs side that have looked stagnant in their 3-4-3 formation at times this season. Enrique definitely prefers using a back four and that could be an issue for both Ivan Perisic and Pedro Porro were both brought in to play in a wing-back system. Neither would do well in a back four (see Porro at Newcastle), while it is unclear whether new signing Destiny Udogie can play in a four.

This would be good news for Emerson Royal however, who could thrive under Enrique, while Dani Olmo would fit perfectly in the number 10 role and provide Spurs with the creativity they have been lacking in 2022/23. Olmo has struggled with injury this season, starting just 14 games,  but has still managed a goal or assist every 200 minutes in the Bundesliga. 

Brendan Rodgers 

After four years in charge at the King Power, Brendan Rodgers was relived of his duties in April, with Leicester struggling in the relegation zone. With a mixture of limited funds and key players not being replaced, the Northern Irishman had a tough job this season, just two years on from lifting the FA Cup with the Foxes.

Now a free agent, Daniel Levy could turn to the former Swansea man in his quest to get Spurs back on track. Rodgers switched between a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-3 at his time as Leicester box and could return to the latter in north London, especially with the players currently at the club.

The signing of James Maddison would add some much needed creativity to the Spurs line-up, with the Leicester man able to play behind Kane and Son in a 3-4-1-2 or alongside them in a more conventional 3-4-3. It would also utilise Tottenham’s strengths of having both Destiny Udogie and Pedroo Porro out wide and allow Kane to push forward and not constantly drop back to be their chief creator.

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Xabi Alonso 

Former Liverpool midfielder is no stranger to the Premier League and he will have a lot of admirers from the Spurs board with the incredible job he has done so far at Bayer Leverkusen in just a short space of time. The German side were in 17th, having taken just five points from their opening eight games when the Spaniard took over, but now currently sit 7th with European qualification firmly in their grasp, having also led them to the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Alonso wants his side to dominate possession and has set up predominately in a 3-4-2-1 formation, with one midfielder dropping to make it a four in build up, which would suit this current crop of Tottenham players down to the ground.  The acquisition of 20-year-old Florian Wirtz would also be a huge coup for Spurs, as he would provide the link between midfield and the attack that they have been missing in 2022/23.

Piero Hincapié has been in incredible form during Alonso’s reign and would be another perfect signing for the North London side, bombing down the left-hand side from LCB alongside Destiny Udogie, but if that doesn’t happen then Ben Davies is a more than capable understudy in the meantime.