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Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly identified either of Middlesbrough centre-back Ben Gibson and Swansea City defender Alfie Mawson as the ideal replacement for Kevin Wimmer, who is likely to be sold this summer, according to the Mirror.
The 24-year old Wimmer wasn’t able to make a place for himself in Tottenham’s first team last season, despite having an impressive debut campaign and manager Mauricio Pochettino is understood to be prepared to let go of the Austrian in order to capture either of Gibson or Mawson.
Wimmer arrived at Tottenham in the summer of 2015 from German Bundesliga club FC Koln. After arriving, the Austrian had to wait for quite some time to get a prolonged run in the team and that came when Jan Vertonghen was out injured for a lengthy period in the second half of the season. In the absence of the Belgian, Wimmer stepped up to the plate nicely and formed a formidable partnership with Toby Alderweireld, playing an important role in Spurs’ third-place finish.
His performances that season were much appreciated by the fans and the manager as well and Wimmer was rewarded with a new and improved contract by the club soon after. However, things didn’t turn out to be the same last season.
With Pochettino opting for a three-man backline prominently over the course of the previous campaign, Wimmer was expected to get more opportunities, but it was not to be. The 24-year old was used sporadically by the manager and whenever he was called upon, Wimmer struggled to make the chance count. His error-prone display against Manchester City in January was arguably one of his worst as he looked nerve-stricken and was taken off at half-time.
In total, Wimmer just made 10 appearances across all competitions last season, indicating that Poch had lost the trust he had placed in the player. And with such a situation at hands, an exit in the summer is the best way forward for both the player and the club.
On the other hand, we have Ben Gibson who had an impressive campaign for Middlesbrough, despite the Teessiders ending up getting relegated back to the Championship. The 24-year old did not miss a single Premier League game last term and put in some seasoned displays at the heart of the Boro’s defence. He finished the campaign with 41 appearances in all competitions, scoring one and setting up one more.
Gibson was easily Middlesbrough’s best player last campaign and earned a call-up to the England national team as well. With the club getting relegated, the defender remains keen on a return to the top-flight and a chance to play in the Champions League will definitely appeal to him.
Mawson too had a strong campaign for Swansea last year. The 23-year old joined the Welsh outfit only last summer from lower league side Barnsley and had an excellent debut season in the Premier League. After being flitted in and out of the first team under Francesco Guidolin and Bob Bradley, the England youth international cemented his place in the Swans’ starting XI under Paul Clement and played a pivotal part in helping them stave off relegation.
The former Barnsley man finished the season with 27 appearances in the English top-flight, chipping in with 4 crucial goals as well. And he followed it up with a strong campaign for the England U-21 side in the U-21 European Championship last month in Poland, further enhancing his reputation.
With Wimmer’s future with the Lilywhites looking bleak, bringing in either Gibson or Mawson would definitely turn out to be an ideal piece of business for Tottenham as both the Englishmen have proven themselves in the Premier League, having played significantly more number of games in a single season than what Wimmer has managed in two years.