— Stoke City FC (@stokecity) August 29, 2017
Kevin Wimmer Signs for Stoke City
The key reason for Wimmer’s departure is undoubtedly his lack of playing time. Pochettino did not favour him as a Premier League starter, confining him to starts in cup games mostly. He did make 31 league appearances in two years but was not the first choice centre-back when Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen were available. For a player of his age, he could not afford to sit on the bench for too long. Therefore, his move to Stoke City makes a good deal of sense, to help the player reignite his career.
Wimmer is a strong centre back, capable on the ball and able to play some good quality football. He will bring a great deal to the Stoke back-line, adding some fresh legs amongst an already impressive defence. Alongside Kurt Zouma, Bruno Martins Indi or Ryan Shawcross, Wimmer will complement them well. But, he may also face some competition from the very same players. This is a good problem in Mark Hughes’ eyes, who will be able to have strength in depth.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s centre back depth will be affected. Whilst the club have brought in Davinson Sanchez, and are rumoured to be signing Juan Foyth, these are right-footed players. Thus, only Jan Vertonghen and Ben Davies would be the only left-footed centre backs available. This could create an unbalanced defence as well as constrict the width of the team. Wimmer was left-footed and therefore had some extra value to the squad. However, his gargantuan size and strength also helped for tactical flexibility. In more physical, scrappy matches this would have been helpful. Sanchez could replace Wimmer here, but Foyth is a younger, more elegant defender. Overall, Spurs will not be majorly affected.
Pochettino has been ruthless in his dealings with players. He clearly has a set of favoured personnel, which he sticks to. Whilst he gave Wimmer opportunities in lesser matches, he did blood him in some more important matches. One stand out match was against Arsenal, the 1-1 draw where Wimmer scored an own goal. Controversy surrounds the goal, with the affected player claiming that the two offside players behind him were influencing him. Despite this, Wimmer had an average match but never looked the full part for Tottenham. He did have many chances, but again displayed similar levels of inconsistency. One major factor is the lack of any constant game time. But, Pochettino has simply played his best team based on form, and thus such game time was not granted.
Stoke City have gained an invaluable player in Wimmer, who to Tottenham, was surplus to requirements. Spurs now have some more spending money to finalise their deals, including Foyth and Serge Aurier. Whilst the player did offer extra strength to the back line, his inconsistent performances have inevitably lead up to this transfer.