Spurs boss keeping an eye on Liverpool’s Glen Johnson
WHILE there will be plenty of players for Tottenham to watch out for this weekend, Harry Redknapp may have his eye on one Liverpool player in particular – Glen Johnson.
The England right-back is reportedly on Spurs’ radar, with Redknapp keen to recruit another member of his FA Cup winning Portsmouth outfit.
Redknapp has already brought Jermain Defoe, Peter Crouch, Niko Kranjcar and Younes Kaboul to White Hart Lane, and this week he hinted at a couple of big-name signings in January to boost a title bid.
“It’s there for someone to pull off a surprise. I am looking to buy in January,” said the manager. “We need to tweak it [the team] to finish it off.”
Of course Spurs fans and, more importantly, chairman Daniel Levy will question whether Tottenham really need a new right-back.
Alan Hutton is arguably enjoying his best spell in north London since his �9million arrival in January 2008, Vedran Corluka is waiting in the wings, Kaboul can play right-back, and Spurs paid �8million for Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton in 2009 – so the answer is probably no.
However, the best teams do not simply buy the players that they ‘need’ – Tottenham didn’t need Rafael Van der Vaart.
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Redknapp may well covet Johnson, but what hope is there of snatching him from Liverpool?
Well, recent dispatches from Anfield suggest that the England international has a rocky relationship with Roy Hodgson, who recently questioned whether the �18million man was living up to his status as the best right-back in the country.
“If he says yes, obviously we will have to agree to differ. And if he says no, then you have to ask the question why not,” said the Reds boss.
Johnson responded with a goal in a 3-0 home win over West Ham on Saturday, but his summary of the ‘clear the air’ talks with Hodgson still sound rather divisive.
Johnson said: “We spoke, and he explained he wanted it to help me, to push me and I said to him then, I don’t need people to tell me, I know where I’m at in terms of form, and I knew it all already.”
Should Hodgson lose patience with Johnson, he and the club’s owner may just be tempted to cash in on one of their most valuable assets to strengthen other areas – after all, it wasn’t John W Henry who paid the �18m.
In 2009 Johnson had the choice of signing for Chelsea or Liverpool, who had just finished second and qualified for the Champions League as usual. In hindsight, the 26-year-old backed the wrong horse.
Liverpool look to be in decline and meanwhile, at Tottenham, the manager who turned him from a Chelsea benchwarmer into an England international is leading upwardly-mobile, ambitious Spurs to new heights in England and Europe.
Should Johnson become available, Spurs may well be in the queue, and these days they look like a pretty attractive proposition – especially for Redknapp’s favourite former players.