Despite spending over £110million on new players in the summer, six months down the line, glaring flaws have suddenly appeared in Tottenham’s squad depth.
The first notable gap is in the strike force – currently, Tim Sherwood has £27million signing Roberto Soldado, the recently reinstated Emmanuel Adebayor and England international Jermain Defoe at his disposal. Hardly what you’d call a shabby line-up.
But the Spurs veteran is on his way to the MLS at the end of February, to team up with former Lilywhite Ryan Nelson at FC Toronto, which is impeccably poor timing considering the White Hart Lane outfit face Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in March and still have the Europa League to consider.
It in effect nullifies Sherwood’s ability to utilise his customary 4-4-2 formation, unless he’s prepared to risk the full fitness of both Soldado and Adebayor. Tottenham fans will be quick to point out that Moussa Dembele and Erik Lamela can operate as front-men, but that’s like putting a square peg in a round hole. At the same time, youngster Harry Kane is quite clearly not ready for Premier League football, let alone a Champions League challenge.
The other concern is at left-back, highlighted by Danny Rose’s recent suspension, albeit later rescinded by the FA. I have no qualms with the England U21, he showed great promise at Sunderland last year and no doubt will mature into a fine player.
But he’s not the finished article and his defensive naivety has cost the Lilywhites at times this season, which has resulted in Jan Vertonghen being fielded at No.3 almost as many times as he has centre-half this term – a complete waste, considering the Belgium international is by far Tottenham’s best centre-back.
Then there’s Kyle Naughton. But the less said about his showings at left-back, the better.
Neither of these issues were arrested by Sherwood or Levy in January, and the disturbing breaches in Tottenham’s depth could see the squad, in addition to their Champions League hopes, collapse like a house of cards.