Exclusive: Daniel Levy’s London meeting with Nagelsmann and the mess that would greet him if he took the reins at Tottenham
As we head into the business end of the campaign, Tottenham Hotspur are already looking towards the 2023/24 season with news that Daniel Levy has met Julian Nagelsmann in London.
Though it isn’t clear at this stage if the talks were preliminary or more advanced, what is clear is that the German is interested in the potential position as first-team manager at White Hart Lane.
However, the 35-year-old, should he be offered, and accept, the position, will find things very much different to that which he experienced at Bayern Munich.
Writing in his exclusive column for CaughtOffside, super agent Haydn Dodge, spelt out just how badly things could look for Nagelsmann, or any other potential candidate for that matter, upon his arrival.
‘I gather that Daniel Levy and Julian Nagelsmann had a meeting during the last few days in London, so Nagelsmann seems to be wanting to take the Tottenham job. I don’t know whether he sees that as a project or whether he will get the assurances he needs from the board at Tottenham,’ he wrote.
‘If it were me and I was a manager going in there then I could probably discount a lot of players. They’ve got two goalkeepers that aren’t good enough, they’ve got a right-back on loan in France that’s going ok in Djed Spence, but Pedro Porro who they’ve signed hasn’t been great and Emerson Royal is saying that he wants to leave.
‘They’ve got four centre-halves that aren’t good enough and probably only one that is good in Romero, they’ve got a left-back who is 34 and isn’t good enough, Ryan Sessegnon isn’t good enough… so you need another left-back in the building. I think Sergio Reguilon is still contracted to the club and he’s nowhere near, Son’s been absolutely horrendous this year, Dier is dead wood, Sanchez is dead wood… so realistically Spurs only have Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – a decent but average Premier League player – and Rodrigo Bentancur. In their right mind, I’m not sure who takes the players that Tottenham currently have in that team.
‘You can’t self motivate people, you have to be motivated yourself to go and succeed. A lot of these players say that they want to go and play for X, Y and Z club, but you have to be self motivated if you want to succeed at the top of this division. If you look at the camaraderie between the Brighton players and Brentford players for example, that’s the reason why they’re doing so well.
‘Nagelsmann went into Bayern Munich and already had a stock of players that were serial winners, or had players if they weren’t serial winners at Bayern they had been in the past and with their country… it’s very clear to see that Spurs as a club does need a bit of a revamp. Whether or not Nagelsmann comes in with a sporting director for that, I don’t know. It all depends on one thing and one thing only for these men and that’s money. My issue is not that Tottenham haven’t spent, but they’ve done so in the wrong areas.’
There is a lot of work to do both on and off the pitch and perhaps the most pressing issue facing the man who gets the job is how to persuade Harry Kane that his future still lies in North London.
The England captain and Spurs’ record-breaking goalscorer still hasn’t won any trophies of note, and for a player of his obvious abilities, that isn’t good enough.
At 29 years of age, there’s very much a feeling of now or never in terms of a move away, and were that to happen, a potential £100m in transfer fee could really go some way to reshaping the squad for the new managerial incumbent.
‘If I’m Harry Kane I’m sitting there going ‘why am I doing this to myself and if United are going to put a £100m bid in then why wouldn’t I go…’ Whether or not Kane’s representatives are good enough to go and push through the move that they would want, I don’t know,’ Dodge continued.
‘The fact that Pochettino is going in at Chelsea is a little bit of a killer for Tottenham fans already, and as a Spurs fan you’d rather he’d go to United than to Chelsea, because that would be the ultimate no no. The fact that Poch will probably attract someone like Kane, and the fact he’s already going there, for Tottenham fans it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth anyway. Clearly Tottenham have a big decision to make in the sense of what do they do moving forwards, because if there is to be a big squad overhaul it’s not going to happen overnight and it’s not going to happen in the summer.’
Before any clear out can occur, there’s the small matter of trying to finish in the Champions League positions for Spurs, and that’s by no means a foregone conclusion at this stage.
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