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Where would Tottenham be without Luka Modric?

Numerous top English clubs have tried to lure Tottenham Hotspur star playmaker Luka Modric, notably Chelsea and Manchester United. Andre Villas-Boas sees him as a player that takes the pressure off Frank Lampard in providing Chelsea’s loaded strikeforce with chances. Sir Alex Ferguson, on the other hand, has earmarked him as Paul Scholes’ replacement. Modric himself has stated he prefers a move to Chelsea, mainly because he stays in London. Now he’s frustrated because his chairman is blocking the move. I think the whole football world understands why Mr. Levy tries to stop his talisman from moving, especially to a cross-city rival.

Modric is an outstanding midfield player and if Spurs are going to return to the Champions League, he is the man they must keep. He is more important to Tottenham than Steven Gerrard is for Liverpool and Cesc Fabregas is for Arsenal, because both Liverpool and Arsenal have proven that they can win without their respective midfield generals. Spurs are yet to prove that they can survive with Modric.

Modric can unlock defences of the sturdiest kind, and provides excellent service for Spurs’ widemen, especially Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon. Modric is one of the players that look likes he isn’t rushed into his passes, and he always seems to have time on the ball. Harry Redknapp has stressed the importance that Tottenham keep their best players, as they are a club on the up, and if they sell Modric, they will won’t be back on Europe’s grand stage any time soon. Plus, Bale has said that if Modric is sold, he wants to leave as well. Perhaps by this, we  can deduce that Modric draws the best players in the world to White Hart Lane. I would never have picked Rafael Van der Vaart moving from Real Madrid to Tottenham… Could Modric have been a motivating factor, a chance to branch off one of the best playmakers in the businness?

Without Modric, Tottenham could have endless possibilities. They could stay the same as they are now, or be condemned to midtable obscurity. The answer to the question is simple; keep Modric, and the club has the chance to achieve the heights of glory and trophy success… Lose him, and face a period of instability as they search for a capable candidate to fill his boots.

But what if they do lose him? What options does Redknapp have?

He could call upon Niko Kranjcar or even Steven Pienaar. Kranjcar seems the most obvious candidate in the current squad to replace Modric, an attack minded central midfielder. However he has been starved of opportunities but shows his undoubted class at times. Pienaar is generally a wide player, but if emergency calls, Redknapp could be forced to use Pienaar as his distributor. Strange as it sounds, I believe the South African can pull it off.

Tottenham’s other central midfielders of Tom Huddlestone, Wilson Palacios, Jermaine Jenas and Sandro are really holding midfielders, being there to screen the back four. Many consider Huddlestone to have this spot held down but last season Sandro showed he is a capable player, filling in for Huddlestone after the latter was seriously injured. Both Palacios and Jenas are perhaps too inconsistent to be a regular at White Hart Lane, and I could not see either of them slotting straight in to central midfield.

I suppose the only other option is for Rafael Van der Vaart to step back from second striker and dictate things in attacking midfield. This probably forces Spurs into a 4-4-2 diamond, and that certainly does not suit Bale or Lennon. It doesn’t suit Van der Vaart either, as he is at his dominant best when given licence to roam behind the man leading the line. However, a 4-2-3-1 could possibly work, but the Dutchman simply does not possess the playmaking skills of Luka Modric.

There are really no outstanding solutions coming within the Tottenham squad, so Redknapp would be forced to embark on a journey in the transfer market, in search of a player able to hold the side together, link from defence to attack and most importantly, keep Tottenham moving forward.

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