Son, Bergwijn, Skipp injury update, Paratici and Hitchen latest - Behind the scenes at Tottenham

By Alasdair Gold

Jamie20: "Hi Ali, any news on Hugo Lloris' contract situation? Seems like he's gotten better the older he's got and I hope we don't just let him go for free at the end of this season."

Alasdair says: "The Frenchman admitted recently that he hasn't had a new contract offer. As I understand it, if he continues to show his level of consistency this season then Spurs will offer him a new short-term deal. Then it will be down to Lloris over whether he wants to go past the decade with the club or whether he wants to return to France, as he's suggested before, or even move somewhere like the MLS.

"Personally, I think he's been far more consistent since the weight of having to take on the short passing from the back towards the end of Poch's era was removed. His mistakes often came from that and now that's out of the picture, it's mostly about the rest of his game, which is top drawer. If he does stay at the club beyond next summer, then the conversation will begin over what that means for Pierluigi Gollini."

teitsh: "Hi Alasdair, any truth to the rumours about Harry Kane signing a new contract with a release clause?"

Alasdair says: "I'd be stunned if both sides don't look at a new contract for Kane soon. In the aftermath of his statement about staying this season, the word I had back from those around him was that a new contract was a question for the future rather than in that moment.

"Ultimately though Spurs still have the power as next summer Kane will still have two years left on his current deal. If he has another great season then his value will not drop and Tottenham will point to Real Madrid's £200m bid for Mbappe with just nine months left of the Frenchman's contract.

"As for a release clause, that's not really Spurs' thing. Toby Alderweireld's one is the only example I can think of and there was some talk that that one came about because it was carried across from a previous deal.

"For Kane, he will know soon what the market is likely to hold next summer. Pep Guardiola's comments last month about wishing the striker "all the best with his career in London" sounded like closure.

"Kane stated that he does not want to move abroad which would then only really leave Manchester United, who perhaps don't guarantee silverware in the same way City would.

"Then the question would be for Kane whether he feels he can win things at Tottenham and the records he can break and the legacy he can leave in north London. We'll see what the coming weeks and months bring."

Okan5858: "Will Tanguy Ndombele be in the squad against Crystal Palace this time?"

Alasdair says: "I'd surprised if he's not, particularly with Lo Celso missing and Skipp potentially missing out. He'll have had almost two weeks to get his mind back on the club and off a move away. He will know that he needs to play football in the months ahead and he needs to impress Nuno Espirito Santo.

"I've said it before but I think he's got a great chance to flourish under the new head coach but ultimately it's down to Tanguy. If he's not in the squad on Saturday then it won't be about talent, which he has by the bucket-load, just focus and fitness."

Emery Daniel: "With the injuries it is possible that Ndombele and Gil could start against Palace?"

Alasdair says: "I'd perhaps be surprised if Ndombele starts, maybe a bench role is more fitting to begin with. I think Winks would probably get the nod if Skipp can't start the game, although the suggestions seems to be that the England U21 international could be ok after his stiff groin moment.

"As for Gil, both Son and Bergwijn are seen as major doubts for Saturday's match at this moment, more so than Skipp, and if, as feared, that's the case, then the Spaniard could stand a chance of starting."

TheRealMrFantastic: "Where is the lowest we should expect to finish this season? I'm not talking in terms of booing or Nuno out etc, but with our squad where is the lowest we should accept finishing without being too disappointed?"

Alasdair says: "I think improvement needs to be made on recent seasons. Spurs will target the top four, having spent four consecutive years in it before the recent sixth and seventh place finishes. For me I think anything from fifth upwards would be viewed as positive and of course, a long-awaited cup would be huge for the Nuno reign.

"I know others have made big moves in the transfer market but that doesn't always result in success if they don't gel. Poch's biggest success was creating an atmosphere and togetherness around the club that was more powerful on the pitch than the big spending clubs. Nuno will be looking to create his own version of that."

Michael Craig and Marcel Lavinier try to get to grips with Tanguy Ndombele at Hotspur Way (Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

LukeSmith88: "I've heard you say a few times that you really believe Ndombele could thrive in the 4-3-3 ahead of Skipp and Hojbjerg, but why do you think this pivot behind him, would be so much better than the Sissoko/Hojbjerg he operated in front of a lot of times during last season? Is it just because you believe Skipp is that much more of an upgrade on Sissoko?"

Alasdair says: "Yes is the very simple answer to that. I've got really high hopes for Skippy. I'd go as far as saying I wouldn't be shocked if he's in England's World Cup squad next year. He's got everything about him to become one of the best around in his position. I've been fortunate to watch his progression from his academy years and he's progressing exactly as planned at the moment."

BazfromEssexHere: "What is you feeling on Dane Scarlett being touted as one of the best things to come out of the Spurs youth system but it's said that he is too young to start Premier League games for Spurs? Not long ago a 17-year-old Wayne Rooney was playing for Everton, and a 18-year-old Michael Owen was playing plus scoring for England, have times changed that much?"

Alasdair says: "I think we need to be careful when we use the rare exceptions to the rule when it comes to taking it carefully with young players. All those years ago, Rooney was built like an adult as a 16-year-old, he was freakishly strong, whereas Owen had those injuries problems as he went on, perhaps because he started so young.

"More recent examples are probably Marcus Rashford and then Mason Greenwood at United and for them it's been about gradually bringing them along.

"With Scarlett, I think this season presents a good opportunity for him to get minutes in the cup matches and in Europe and the more he works with first team, the natural stronger he will become as his body develops.

"With no other striker options than Kane and Son, Scarlett will get the chances. There's no need to rush him and potentially stunt his development."

fmcquillan02: "Some reports say that Skipp could be in contention for Crystal Palace, do you think Nuno may not take the risk and opt for Winks instead or stick with Skipp?"

Alasdair says: "They'll have a proper assessment of Skipp tomorrow but the hope is that it's not going to be serious enough to keep him out. We'll see what the player and the physios think. If he's not ready then yes, I think Winks could potentially come in."

RaveO13: "What kind of punishment do you think the club will dish out to Romero, Lo Celso and Sanchez for the recent international trip debacle?"

Alasdair says: "At the moment, the word coming out of the club is that they will be fined and that was explained to them when they made their decision to accept the call-ups. It's such a mess of a situation and we're now seeing that with the Brazilian players and others from South America, they likely would have missed the Palace game anyway if they had not gone due to a FIFA five-day ban.

"Of course for clubs, having the players at home and training and not in crazy situations like the one that occurred in Brazil and now at a training camp in Croatia, would still be preferable."

MD-Spurs: "I was interested on your take on the reports of some players being unhappy with Paratici and Hitchen's behaviour on the bench?"

Alasdair says: "Personally I haven't heard anything along those lines. They're on the bench due to Covid regulations and Hitchen is popular among the players. Paratici seems to have settled in well.

"Poch was calling for Spurs to be more like Juventus in matches with the club officials putting more pressure on decisions and we've seen the duo making their feelings clear during games.

"I don't think it's a bad thing myself. We're finally getting to see some of the powers-that-be at the club showing emotion and passion for the club. It's quite refreshing.

"As for claims that the players can't be themselves on the bench with them behind them. Those same players are sitting right behind Nuno and his coaching team. What are they expecting to be doing or saying there!"

chrism12: "After the fiasco involving Sanchez, Lo Celso and Romero, surely the club will absolutely ban them for travelling for the next international break?"

Alasdair says: "It's a bit more complicated than that really and I'll be intrigued to see how it works out with the Premier League clubs facing the ban over the players they didn't release. What FIFA decide over that will be a key decision going forward for the two more international breaks before December."


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