Who should Tottenham Hotspur target this Summer?
Author: Alex Dudley
The five-year project for Spurs has been a major success since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino but the will trophies need to come sooner rather than later. Right now, neutral fans will probably tell you that Spurs are more favourites to win the NFL Superbowl, than to win the Premier League.
There is no doubt that Spurs have one of the most exciting, young and best squads in the Premier League but with players growing older and still improving will a lack of silverware, it might mean sometime soon they might look elsewhere to achieve goals.
Tottenham had a hugely successful World Cup with club captain Hugo Lloris lifting the famous trophy after the final and England’s Kieran Trippier and Harry Kane being shining lights for England. Add to this Jan Vertonghen and Alderweireld leading Belgium to a semi-final and you can say they had indeed a proper Summer. However, can they transfer that winning mentality over to their club side? Fans would always argue yes.
Looking at the squad there would be no clear position that needs strengthening; unless Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen both depart the club over the summer months. The Danish is the most likely to go, after giving some hints about his future and he might be headed to Madrid, following the same route as Bale and Modric.
For his replacement Spurs have 3 options on the table: Lyon’s Ndombele, who could arrive for £50m – a bargain, at the current state of the market – Lo Celso, an Argentinian international who played in Betis last season and finally UEFA Nations League winner Bruno Fernandes, a midfielder from Sporting CP who scored over 30 goals last season. Any of the 3 options mention would be promising additions to fill Eriksen’s boots.
Meanwhile, Erik Lamela also returned from injury and has since signed a contract extension with the club, but he always divides opinions. There is no doubting the talent of the Argentinian but his end productive sometimes isn’t there. He is also still young so there is still time and with Pochettino at the helm you get the feeling there is more chance that he will come good than be shipped off on loan in a future transfer window.
Another player with a point to prove would be Dele Ali. Despite scoring the winner for England against Sweden, he had a largely disappointing World Cup and was ineffective in many of the games. That has never been the case domestically for Spurs and will be looking to prove critics wrong again as his talent is unquestionably one of the best for the players in his age category. This poor World Cup form has continued this season and he has been forced to play a bit-part.
Let's not forget, in Harry Kane Spurs have the best number nine in the league, a proper target man and somebody who will be guaranteed to get 20+ goals again this season. With Kane fully fit, there is always a chance of a title fight. Various markets always position Harry Kane as the odds-on favourite in football betting to finish as top goal scorer in the topflight.
Everyone knows, having a proven goal scorer normally means good things come the end of the season and usually in the form of a trophy. However, this season he suffered from a couple injuries and his backup, Fernando Llorente, was not always enough to provide the goals needed. They might need to get a second striker, that can take some weight of Kane’s shoulders.
It shows the squad depth at Spurs that the Champions League was the clubs best bet of a trophy this season. Following their 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund the club won’t fear any club on their route to the final. Spurs are yet to win the Champions League in their history, and they were never closer than this season.
After edging Manchester City and Ajax in two exciting knockout rounds, they lost in the ultimate stage in their first final ever. In Madrid, an early penalty conceded by Sissoko, let Salah put Liverpool in front. In the driver’s seat, the Reds controlled the game and besides the Spurs chances, they ended up losing 2-0, with Origi adding another goal to the score line.
The 2018-19 season was, nonetheless, a positive one for Spurs, even if they didn’t achieve any silverware. They finished top 4, qualified for Champions League and had an amazing run in this competition, that would give them more experience for next year. Plus, they inaugurated their new stadium, one of the most expensive ones ever made in Europe.
Maybe in 2019-20 it will be the season where they will end from being the team who ‘puts the pressure’ to the team who actually wins something. It all depends whether Pochettino remains at the team or if he will be seduced by another project.
Spurs will need to have a massive summer in order to be considered a serious title contender. Should they bring in the right players that can quickly settle in with the team; then there is little doubt that they would have a great chance on building on their appearance in the Champions League final at the end of the 2018-19 season.