Football pundit Paul Merson has named five Tottenham Hotspur players whom he believes will be seeking an exit if the side come unstuck to Arsenal in this weekend’s North London derby, reports Sky Sports.
Arsenal welcome their fierce North London rivals to the Emirates Stadium at Saturday lunchtime, in a game that many believe Tottenham stand a good chance of winning given the contrasting form between the two clubs.
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Arsene Wenger’s men are at home and remain slim favourites, but Tottenham are four points clear of their rivals in the Premier League table, and have beaten the likes of Real Madrid and Crystal Palace recently.
Despite Tottenham still being third in the table ahead of the meeting, Merson still believes defeat on Saturday could see players exit the club next summer. The ex-Arsenal midfielder says five Spurs players will consider an exit due to the interest coming from Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has tied down more of his first-team players down to long-term contracts, many of whom are on considerably less money than their counterparts at bigger clubs, but Merson still feels they will be tempted to leave if their title hopes take a big hit on the weekend.
“It’s a big game for Tottenham though. If they don’t win I look at (Christian) Eriksen, (Dele) Alli, the centre-backs (Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld) and Harry Kane and I think they will move on at the end of the season,” he said.
“I also worry for Mauricio Pochettino too. He is one of the most sought-after managers in world football and I don’t see how he turns down Real Madrid if they come calling.”
It’s a big claim by Merson, but only time will tell if he ends up being right.