Tottenham suddenly have an unusual problem: Pochettino faces a tough choice

STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino watches from the stands during the Premier League 2 match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at The Lamex Stadium on August 25, 2017 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - AUGUST 25: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino watches from the stands during the Premier League 2 match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at The Lamex Stadium on August 25, 2017 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images) /
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Tottenham may have too many right backs

After Tottenham made the controversial decision to sell Kyle Walker to Manchester CIty earlier this summer, right back suddenly became a problem position for Spurs. Now, with the impending arrival of Serge Aurier and the emergence of Kyle Walker-Peters it suddenly is the club’s most crowded position.

The acquisition of Aurier isn’t done and dusted yet, but plenty of sources are reporting that it’s inevitable. The controversial Frenchman will arrive in North London next week for a transfer fee of somewhere around £25 million. His off the pitch issues are certainly concerning, but on the pitch he fits Pochettino’s style of play like a glove.

To put it bluntly, Daniel Levy didn’t spend that sort of cash on a right back to see him sit on the bench. Aurier will be involved in Pochettino’s matchday squad more often than not. That suddenly puts the status of Walker-Peters and last year’s backup Kieran Trippier in jeopardy.

It presents Pochettino with quite a selection headache. Whether he plays four or five at the back it only allows for one fullback to play on the right side at a time. That would seem to indicate that Spurs have three credible options for just one spot in the starting XI.

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I’m not quite convinced things are quite that simple. Firstly, Walker-Peters has shown the ability to play both right and left back during his Academy days. Given the current injury to Danny Rose it seems wise to keep him around the senior squad for the foreseeable future. Some might suggest he’d benefit from a Premier League loan, but I think he’s just too valuable as a backup for both spots.

That doesn’t necessarily make Trippier the odd man out either. He doesn’t have the athletic ability to cope with world-class attackers, but he can be an excellent player against lesser opposition. Think of Trippier as the perfect flat track bully for Spurs. His excellent crossing ability make him a great player to have when the opponent parks the bus.

There’s also one more intriguing option that Pochettino could utilize. Given the club’s current lack of wing talent, is it possible that two of these players could start certain matches together on the right? In particular, Walker-Peters and Aurier seem to have the attacking verve to play further up the pitch. Playing one of them ahead of Trippier would give Tottenham valuable defensive cover against certain opponents.

Next: Tottenham v Burnley: Spurs projected starting XI

In the end, I’d expect to see Pochettino keep all three of his talented right backs with the team for the foreseeable future. They all three have different skills that can help Spurs win matches against different types of opponents. It might be challenging to keep them all satisfied with their amount of playing time, but that’s the sort of challenge Pochettino was brought to Tottenham to overcome.