Analysis: What went wrong during Nacer Chadli’s time on White Hart Lane

Tottenham winger Nacer Chadli appears set to make a season-long loan move to Premier League rivals West Bromwich Albion having fallen down the pecking order at White Hart Lane.

The 27 year old Belgian has made 88 league appearances for the club, but managed just three goals in 29 appearances during Pochettino’s second season in charge of the club.

It is felt by many keen observers of the club that the decision to allow Chadli to seek pastures new is as a result of Tottenham’s desire to see a new winger join the club before the end of the transfer window.

Both Georges-Kévin N’Koudou and Wilfreid Zaha have been linked to the club in recent weeks, though the N’Koudou deal has failed to materialise and Crystal Palace Chairman Steve Parish is believed to be far from willing to let England international Zaha leave the club.

It is unclear as to whether the deal would have an option to buy clause at the completion of his loan spell.

What has happened to Nacer?

The writing has been on the wall for Chadli for an extended period of time now.

One of seven summer signings under a spectacularly poor season under the reign  of the infamous André Villas-Boas, Chadli arrived in a £7m deal from Dutch side FC Twente in the summer of 2013.

His first season in English football was one to forget as he managed just one league goal in 24 outings – a record that put him in contention for the accolade of the club’s worst deal of the tenure.

Many fans would be entitled to believe that the club had bought a dud. 

However, the dawn of a new regime under the management of Mauricio Pochettino breathed life into what had been a faltering time on White Hart Lane so far.

The Belgian winger hit the ground running under his new coach, his athletic prowess seemingly well in keeping with the physical requirements expected by the intensity of the new manager’s philosophy of play.

Chadli has managed 25 goals in all competitions during his time on White Hart Lane

A rejuvenated Chadli’s output skyrocketed as the manager’s belief in the player paid dividends. Having managed a meagre solitary goal in the 13-14 campaign, Chadli finished 14-15 with an emphatic 11 goals and five assists to his name.

However, his good form was not to last. 

The unprecedented emergence of Dele Alli and the growing stature of Argentine winger Erik Lamela within the Pochettino system saw a rethink of the personnel required by the manager for the season ahead. 

As Lamela and Christian Eriksen consolidated their dominance over the wide roles, the goalscoring capabilities of Dele Alli saw the club’s new teenage signing secure the number 10 position as opportunities for Chadli to break into the starting eleven became increasingly difficult.

Consigned to an impact role for vast swathes of the season, Chadli’s form plummeted – netting just three league goals in 29 games for the club, his value to Pochettino significantly diminished.

What now?

Having previously been heavily linked to joining Welsh side Swansea City a few weeks back, the Belgium international is now on the cusp of signing for Tony Pulis’s West Bromich Albion side as he looks to kickstart his career.

Pulis’s reputation for playing a direct style of play could see Chadli grow into a pivotal figure at The Hawthorns.

Tall, strong and fast – Chadli could prove to be a valuable asset either on the wing or up top, potentially in place of Solomon Rondon or Saido Berahino.

Given game time, a confident Nacer Chadli has the scoring prowess that Rondon is yet to fully display during his time in England whilst the prospect of playing alongside two hungry strikers could also play into the Belgian’s hands, as his creativity marks him out above the club’s other wide options.

Time may have been called upon Chadli’s often stagnant time on White Hart Lane but there can be little doubt that he still has a lot to offer to the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion could well prove to be the platform from which he delivers this from.

Here’s a reminder of just what the Belgian could offer on his day.

Written by Joe Thomas

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