Radu Dragusin slots in at the back next to returning Micky Van de Ven while Timo Werner plays on the left… but who will join him in attack? How Tottenham could line up against Man United with several players missing

Ange Postecoglou has certainly been busy in the first couple of weeks of the January transfer window.

Tottenham also have a hectic couple of weeks coming up with a trip to Man United at Old Trafford this weekend, before hosting Man City in the FA Cup the week after.  

The north London outfit have toiled with a mounting injury list this season and their squad could be stretched a little further with several players also set to depart for international competitions in the next few months. 

But in a bid to help alleviate the pressure, Postecoglou’s side have been active already in the transfer window and it seems they are keen to get their business done early. 

On Tuesday the club announced the signing of ex-Chelsea star Timo Werner on loan from Red Bull Leipzig on a deal that will see the club pay the remainder of his salary for this season, which equates to around £4.5million.

Tottenham travel to Manchester United on Sunday and Ange Postecoglou could play a slightly different starting line up ahead of the game 

Earlier this week, Tottenham announced the signing of Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig

Earlier this week, Tottenham announced the signing of Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig  

Spurs are also close to signing Radu Dragusin from Genoa, with the defender set to travel to London to undertake a medical

Spurs are also close to signing Radu Dragusin from Genoa, with the defender set to travel to London to undertake a medical  

Meanwhile, they’ve also bolstered their squad depth in defence, with Spurs now on the cusp of signing centre-back Radu Dragusin from Genoa in a deal that could see young star Djed Spence move in the other direction.   

Their additions come as Spurs have also suffered several injury set backs this season, particularly to key defenders. 

New signing Micky van de Ven has been ruled out since November with a hamstring injury but could be set to make his return this weekend after being named on the bench for their FA Cup victory against Burnley. 

Meanwhile, Cristian Romero was ruled out for up to five weeks with a hamstring strain suffered during Tottenham’s 2-1 win against Everton. They’ll also be without Ben Davies for a while too, after he suffered a hamstring injury against Burnley. 

Adding to that, Son Heung-min is set to be unavailable until February as he takes part in the Asia Cup with South Korea. Equally, Yves Bissouma and Pape Matar Sarr will also be unavailable as they take part in the Africa Cup of Nations. 

With new signings coming in, several players out with injury and three key stars on international duty, we analyse how Tottenham could line up in a 4-3-3 formation for their crunch fixture against Man United on Sunday.

Goalkeeper – Guglielmo Vicario

The Italian shot stopper has been in impressive form for Spurs this season and has made some big saves that have made him a favourite among many Tottenham fans. 

Following his £17million move to the club last summer, he has garnered the praise of many commentators around the league for his excellent performances in net. 

Even Ben Foster lumped praise on him on his YouTube channel, The Cycling GK. He said: ‘If you were a goalie coach at Tottenham and you were responsible for bringing in that goalkeeper in, honestly, you could do what you want for years. 

‘Because you could live off that guy. The fact that you can bring somebody in for £17 million, for a big club, a top club like Spurs, for as little money as that, and him hit the ground running is phenomenal.’ 

Despite that, he was involved in a heated tirade with team-mate Ryan Sessegnon after Spurs’ win against Burnley last week.

Tottenham shot-stopper Guglielmo Vicario has been one of the best keepers this season

Tottenham shot-stopper Guglielmo Vicario has been one of the best keepers this season

Right back – Pedro Porro 

Having joined in January 2023, Porro is another player to have asserted himself as a key face in Postecoglou’s starting XI.

While his defensive positioning is superb, his attacking presence upfield is equally impressive, with Porro having amassed seven assists for Tottenham this season, with five of those coming in the last 10 games. 

Centre back – Radu Dragusin

As Dragusin closes in on a move, he could find himself being called into action pretty much immediately for Postecoglou’s side.

Depending on when Spurs can close the deal to sign him and how quickly he can get up to speed, there is a chance he could be drafted in to make his first appearance for the club at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The 21-year-old’s last appearance for Genoa came on January 5, a 1-1 draw against Bologna, with Dragusin scoring his second goal of the season against Inter Miami a week prior.   

Incoming signing Radu Dragusin could immediately be called into action against Man United

Incoming signing Radu Dragusin could immediately be called into action against Man United

Centre back – Micky van de Ven 

Could make his first appearance for the club since November 6 and looks to be very close to a return after being an unused substitute during their 1-0 win against Burnley in the FA Cup last week.

According to Football.London, the signs are optimistic that he could return for the match against United, with Ange Postecoglou revealing that the defender had sent him a message ahead of their trip to Old Trafford. 

The message, recounted by Postecoglou, repotedly said: ‘I’m really happy to be back, always a good feeling to be back with the squad again, next week a big game is coming, so hopefully I will get some minutes. I’m fully fit, no pain anymore, so I think I’m ready.’ 

Mickey van de Ven could return to action for Tottenham this weekend after having not played since November 6 due to injury

Mickey van de Ven could return to action for Tottenham this weekend after having not played since November 6 due to injury

Destiny Udogie has impressed for Spurs of late earning the plaudits of Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville

Destiny Udogie has impressed for Spurs of late earning the plaudits of Jamie Redknapp and Gary Neville 

Left-back – Destiny Udogie

Rewarded for his excellent form, Udogie signed a new longterm contract with the club a month ago.

It’ll keep him at the Tottenham until 2030, with the 21-year-old having only made his first start for the club three months ago under Postecoglou. 

Since then, Udogie has started in 17 Premier League matches this season and has been lauded for his performances, with Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville both named him in their team of the season so far.  

Central midfield – Rodrigo Bentancur  

Having been unlucky with several ligament injuries in the past 18 months, Bentancur is back and could feature again this weekend after captaining the side against Burnley last week. 

It comes after Postecoglou lumped praise on the midfielder stating that giving him the captain’s armband was a ‘reward’ after the tumultous year he’s had.    

‘It’s just a bit of a reward for him. He’s been through a lot these last 18 months,’ he said last the on the decision.  

‘I’ve been part of it for six months or so and he embodies everything we want to be as a Club in terms of his attitude and just his character. So it’s just a little bit of a reward for him and we’re delighted for him.’

Central midfield – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg 

Hojbjerg has struggled to break into Postecoglou’s starting XI this season, making 20 Premier League appearances but having been named in the first XI just four times.

He also recently turned down several potential moves away from the club, but in the absences of Sarr and Bissouma he may be called in to start for Spurs and stake a claim for more regular appearances in their starting line up. 

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has struggled to break into Postecoglou's starting XI this season

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has struggled to break into Postecoglou’s starting XI this season

Attacking midfield – Giovani Lo Celso 

There are some doubts over Lo Celso’s fitness coming into this match, after he was replaced by Bryan Gill in the second-half of their 1-0 win against Burnley.

Despite that, Postecoglou delivered his verdict, according to The Evening Standard, saying: ‘Gio Lo Celso has a bit of tightness, but hoping it is nothing serious.’

With that in mind, Spurs will be hoping their maestro in midfield will be in contention for this weekend.   

Right wing – Dejan Kulusevski  

The hard-working Swede epitomises just what Postecoglou is looking for from his players.   

His work off the ball is superb, dragging defenders out of play while also utilising his engine hard to win the ball back out of possession. 

While he has only returned two assists this season he possesses bags of creativity and is able to deliver some dangerous passes and crosses from the right wing.

Dejan Kulusevski has been a key figure in Tottenham's attack this season thanks to his excellent work rate off the ball

Dejan Kulusevski has been a key figure in Tottenham’s attack this season thanks to his excellent work rate off the ball

Richarlison has returned from injury and is in flying form, having scored five goals in five Premier League appearances for Spurs

Richarlison has returned from injury and is in flying form, having scored five goals in five Premier League appearances for Spurs 

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Left wing – Timo Werner 

After leaving Chelsea in 2022, Werner could make his return to the Premier League this weekend, having spent the last two years at RB Leipzig. 

While some questions have been raised on why Spurs have signed Werner he possesses raw pace and power and fits well with Postecoglou’s fast style of play. 

Equally, he can play anywhere across the front three which makes him a very versatile signing. 

Striker – Richarlison 

The Brazilian has bounced back from undergoing groin surgery and has been in flying form for the north London outfit of late.

He’s scored five goals in his last five Premier League appearances for the club and could be a a threat playing through the middle for Spurs on Sunday.    

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