Ryan Mason has spoken to the Evening Standard about his desire to re-establish himself at Spurs.
Linked with the likes of Bournemouth, Crystal Palace and Hull this summer, Mason nevertheless believes that his time at White Hart Lane is far from over. He told the Standard:
“I’m a professional footballer, I want to be playing every single game. I didn’t do that last year but there’s no arguments.
“I think I started four or five of the first games, got injured against Sunderland and when I came back, the team was flying and the midfielders were doing well and it was very difficult to break into that.
“That’s part of football, it’s a clean slate in pre-season when I go back and hopefully I can work my way into a place.
“Two seasons ago me and Nabil [Bentaleb] started almost every game together in midfield and last season it was different. So next season it is not a foregone conclusion that Eric Dier and Mousa will be in there.
“Our gaffer is very big on training your way into the team and you deserve to play if you’re training well, so I’m sure if me and Nabil go back in pre-season and train and play well, there is no reason why the gaffer wouldn’t start us.
“I’m sure Nabil is working hard just as I am to go back as fit as possible.”
Does Mason have a chance of working his way back into regular contention? While it’s true that he and Bentaleb were the first-choice midfield pairing a couple of seasons ago and did well, the partnership of Dier and Dembele last season was on another level.
With Victor Wanyama signed to deputise for Dier, Mason is battling with the likes of Bentaleb, Dele Alli and Tom Carroll for Dembele’s spot in the team. Mason can also play further forward behind the striker, but that position can be filled by Christian Eriksen and Alli.
It looks like it’s going to be a much harder job for Mason to force his way into the team than it was first time round, when the likes of Etienne Capoue, Paulinho and Benjamin Stambouli were his competition. Would Mason be better off moving on, or should he stay and fight it out at the club he loves?