Danny Rose has never really struck many at Tottenham Hotspur as something resembling the prodigal son, but following what’s been a cracking season on loan at Sunderland this term, he seems likely to return to the club as something resembling a holy figure.
Like the savior himself, armed with a cracking left peg and an array of dodgy barnets, Rose has been heralded by many as the man ready to come and breathe new life into what has become an extremely dilapidated left-back berth at the club.
Yet we’re not quite so convinced that this new-found love for the 22-year-old isn’t born out of a rather apt convenience, as opposed to a genuine belief that he’s the man to solve the club’s problems at the back.
Yes, he’s enjoyed a very solid season up at the Stadium of Light and given the really quite atrocious season the Black Cats are enduring this term, it speaks volumes that Rose’s name is spoke with such vigour and enthusiasm.
And in the process, he’s probably proved a few doubters wrong back home in N17, too. His development into a full-back was born more out of desperation as opposed to a well crafted tactical blueprint and although we can all rest assured ‘Arry will be sure to tell us otherwise, Rose found himself playing his current position on the basis there was no one else there to do the job.
However, far from just being half-decent on his showings in the role, it turns out our Danny is in fact very good indeed at left-back. So good in fact, he’s managed to play the whole season in the role for a Premier League club to a standard in which he’s rumoured to be a front runner for their Player of the Year award. Certainly, if there’s anyone here he still thinks he doesn’t have a career as a left-back, please now leave the building.
But this is where we need to feed ourselves a harsh, if not well-timed dose of reality before Rose-mania begins to get well and truly out of control.
For as well as he has done up on Wearside, if the question is whether Spurs need a new left-back, Danny Rose most certainly isn’t the answer.
Having a decent season for a struggling top-flight side is one thing, looking to become the first-choice for a club either playing in or looking to qualify for the Uefa Champions League, is quite another.
This isn’t to say that Rose doesn’t have the ability to improve and continue his journey as a Premier League full-back – but has he really shown enough to suggest he should jump straight from a relegation battle and into a potential top-four side? Not so sure.
If Benoit Assou-Ekotto really is going to get canned this summer, he has to make way for a genuine, quality addition and there can be no cutting corners on this one. Daniel Levy can’t be expected to splash £10million plus in every position, but considering the woeful lack of depth we already endure in both full-back positions, any money from a Disco Benny sale must be ploughed back into getting a replacement.
It’s about time we had some competition for places at full-back and Danny Rose is just the man to provide the rivalry we need. But he must return in either addition to a new left-back or alongside Assou-Ekotto – not instead of.
For as tenacious and promising as Danny Rose may be, you can’t help but get the feeling that he offers the club the chance to cut yet another corner in terms of improving this squad. We’ve cut enough over the last 12 months – this is a shortcut the club would be wise not to take.
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