Niko Kranjcar has been outstanding for Tottenham in his last two games. He looks an absolute bargain and a player that epitomises the Spurs’ tradition.
Yet, when his international teammate Luka Modric returns to fitness, Kranjcar may find himself on the sidelines. Can the two players fit into the same Spurs team?
Well, as they play together for Croatia, the obvious answer is ‘yes’. In the Premier League though, playing both together might be too attacking against some outfits, particularly away from home. Also, there is the consideration that Aaron Lennon needs to be squeezed into a four man midfield.
At home, against weaker opposition, I think we could play Modric, Kranjcar and Lennon comfortably, with just Palacios shielding the defence. Either Modric or Kranjcar are capable of playing in the centre, or on the left and would probably end up alternating positions.
Another option would be to play them on either flank, if Lennon was injured or in need of a rest. With Bentley likely to be out the door, as soon as we can find a buyer, then this is an option that I’d expect to see at some stage in the future.
Potentially the most exciting option is Modric and Kranjcar forming part of a five man midfield. Those two, combined with Huddlestone, Palacios and Lennon, would give you just about everything you would need in the centre of the pitch.
The problem would be who you would play as a lone attacker. Crouch is too slow, Keane is not enough of an out and out striker, and Pavlyuchenko will soon be off. That leaves Defoe, who looks stronger these days and more able to lead the line on his own.
You would imagine that such a midfield would be adept at retaining possession, so the lone striker would not have to hold up the ball as much as a traditional front two might.
So there’s plenty of options available and if we’re playing some kind of European football next season, then we’ll have a lot more fixtures and our squad as a whole will get more opportunities. I for one though, can’t wait that long and want to see Kranjcar and Modric together sooner, rather than later.