Tottenham transfer exodus under way as Ange Postecoglou follows Arsenal and Liverpool blueprint

Djed Spence looks on course for a Tottenham exit with first-team opportunities few and far between
-Credit: (Image: Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

The Tottenham Hotspur transfer exodus has begun and shows no signs of slowing down as Ange Postecoglou rips up the old version of the club.

While all eyes will naturally be on those new faces coming into the club with the English transfer window opening on Friday, there is set to be a flood of Spurs players heading in the opposite direction. Postecoglou made it clear last month that after years of going in one direction, things had to be radically altered to see whether a different destination could be reached.

The Australian cited what happened under Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta at Liverpool and Arsenal as inspiration for the overhaul at Tottenham.

"We need change, change has to happen," said the 58-year-old. "You can't want to alter your course, and quite dramatically for this club because we went down a certain direction and now we’re pivoting to a whole different direction, and expect the same people are going to be on that. It’s just not going to happen.

"We’ve had two windows and we’ve had some development of players, for sure, but when I say we’ve still got a long way to go, that’s what I’m talking about. We can’t be there yet because it’s impossible to say you’re going to have drastic change and yet expect everyone to be on that journey. It’s not for the want of trying. It’s just that we’re going to play a certain way, we’re going to train a certain way and we’re going to have a certain mindset, and that’s not for everyone.

"And the same way, whether it’s Liverpool or Arsenal, if you look at the beginning of their journeys, by the time they win the competition or have success, the team’s almost unrecognisable. That’s the reality, if you change. If you’re staying on the same course, of course, or a similar course…but we’ve done a major pivot here, so that definitely is the case, yeah."

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He added: "We’ve already made tough decisions, we let some experienced players leave the club at the beginning of the year, some by choice. But again, I feel like if we’re really going to change, that means change. You have to make decisions. Some of those decisions aren’t that tough because whether it’s a player or a staff member, they realise it themselves and say ‘you know what, I’ve got a better path somewhere else and you’ve got a better path here’. So they’re not that tough, but some of them you have to make just because of change, not necessarily because they don't fit in the picture but you still have to change.

"I’ve got to change this squad, I have to. Because I’ve got to build a squad I think can play our football. For that to happen, there has to be exits. I can't just keep everyone here and keep bringing in players. So sometimes you let people go who you think ‘he’s a good player’ but how am I going to change if I don’t do that."

Tottenham have already made some big decisions behind the scenes to facilitate that change. The contracts of older higher earners Eric Dier and Ivan Perisic were not renewed and the duo went out on loan to Bayern Munich and Hajduk Split respectively and will move to those clubs permanently at the end of their deals this month.

Then Spurs made the call to not take up the final year options on both Ryan Sessegnon and Japhet Tanganga's contracts. That was followed this week by the decision to finally cut ties with former club record signing Tanguy Ndombele and mutually agree a termination of his high-earning six-year contract which had 12 months left to go.

The defence is going to see the biggest exodus this summer at the north London club. Genoa are interested in trying to bring Djed Spence back to Italy after his encouraging loan spell, with the 23-year-old right-back unwanted by both Antonio Conte and then Postecoglou and with just 41 minutes in a Spurs shirt to his name.

There has been interest in centre-back Joe Rodon from both Premier League and Championship teams after his successful loan campaign at Leeds, which is why Tottenham took up the option to extend his contract by another 12 months. understands Kieran McKenna was very keen on taking the 26-year-old Wales international to Ipswich last summer only for Leeds to beat them to the deal and he could well look again following the Tractor Boys' promotion to the Premier League.

Sergio Reguilon is not in Postecoglou's plans and after a season spent at Manchester United and Brentford on loan, impressing at the latter in particular, it should be easier to find a move for the former Real Madrid left-back this summer. On the other flank, AC Milan want Emerson Royal, with Spurs placing a £21million price tag on the Brazilian's head.

Should all of the above leave as expected then seven defenders alone will have left the north London club this summer and Ben Davies will also have to make a decision with Postecoglou over what the future holds for him with a year left on his contract. Young defender Ashley Phillips could get another loan under his belt after impressing at Plymouth Argyle with the head coach looking to sign another centre-back.

In the midfield, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has a string of admirers and is expected to leave this summer after the Euros, as is Giovani Lo Celso, currently preparing for the Copa America, with both midfielders having been unable to secure regular starts under the Australian.

Oliver Skipp wants regular football next season after a campaign on the fringes, although the 23-year-old's club-trained homegrown status could make it a tough decision for Postecoglou. Matthew Craig, 21, had a great loan at Doncaster Rovers and will be a man in demand this summer.

Further up the pitch and Bryan Gil's time at Tottenham is expected to come to an end after three years of being unable to get starts at the club, with clubs across the continent having shown interest in the 23-year-old Spanish winger in recent windows.

Republic of Ireland international Troy Parrott is also being heavily tipped to complete a summer transfer, with AZ Alkmaar particularly keen after the 22-year-old's impressive season in the Eredivisie with relegated Excelsior Rotterdam. The striker wants to break through at Tottenham and will be pushing to be involved in pre-season in order to catch the eye, but ultimately Postecoglou will have the final say.

Barring an eye-catching pre-season himself with the first team, 20-year-old forward Alejo Veliz is likely to be found a better fitting loan move than his one to Sevilla in order to continue his development.

All of the above activity is without taking into account the unexpected offers that always come in for other players during the longer summer transfer window. Either way it is set to be the summer of change that Postecoglou has called for ahead of a big season with a plan in place for those he wants to bring through the doors.

"All I can say is that at the moment I feel like the club has bought into my vision and it’s up to me," the Australian said last month. "It's not about patience, it’s about belief that I need to keep working and taking us forward in a manner that there is belief in the club that they should continue to support my vision for it.

"I was here in 2016, middle of ‘16, I came over with the family and I took my oldest son to Anfield to watch Liverpool. It was just at the beginning of that building phase and, to be fair, they hadn’t done anything significant up until that point but there was a real energy in the stadium around Jurgen.

"And I think the whole club, the supporters, everyone had bought into him even though they hadn’t quite got to where they wanted to yet. But I felt that in the stadium and that’s why I’ve always got drawn to managers like that because you could see, he could see things that others couldn’t in that time. And I think if you look at it for the most part, most successful clubs, that’s the kind of formula.

"Part of that responsibility lies on me to make sure that I’m leading in a way that allows people to believe in me and support me because…it’s the only way I’m going to have success. I’m not going to do it on my own, that’s for sure. I never have, wherever I’ve been, I’ve had great support and right now I have all the support I need. I really feel like the club has bought into the vision I have and it’s up to me to maintain that."

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