Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bassong Goes and AVB Is Set to Off-Load Six More

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bassong Goes and AVB Is Set to Off-Load Six More

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

[bar] TOTTENHAM began a mass clear-out of fringe players today by selling defender Sebastien Bassong to Norwich City.

It is the first of a number of sales Spurs hope to conclude before the transfer window closes next week as David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas and Giovani Dos Santos are also available, while the futures of Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone at White Hart Lane are in doubt as well.

Dawson and Huddlestone were left out of the squad by new coach Andre Villas-Boas for the club's first match of the season at Newcastle on Saturday.

The decision to omit defender Dawson was all the more surprising because, two days earlier, Villas-Boas said he would start the season as captain only to hand the armband to William Gallas instead.

Both players were injured for a large part of last season but Huddlestone insisted he was fit to play at St James' Park and significantly tweeted 'Respect needs earning before being given#Fact', before deleting it.

The fact he is not challenging for a place in midfield is ominous considering Scott Parker is sidelined with Achilles trouble and Luka Modric is set to join Real Madrid.

Dawson now finds himself the fifthchoice centre-half behind Gallas, new signing Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Steven Caulker.

Huddlestone and Dawson are believed to be out of favour due to Villas-Boas preferring faster, more agile players to make his pressing game work.

The midfielder is now expected to leave on loan, with Stoke favourites for his signature, while Dawson is wanted by Queens Park Rangers.

Rangers have also been looking at Gallas and Jermain Defoe but it appears they are now part of Villas-Boas's plans.

Spurs have been trying to off-load Bentley, Jenas and Dos Santos permanently for the last few transfer windows but have only succeeded in sending them out on loan.

They still hope to find a buyer for the trio, who cost [pounds sterling]26. …

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