Tottenham’s Premier League season kicks off with an absolute corker as they face London rivals West Ham on Saturday – a fixture they lost quite ridiculously, three times during the 2013/14 campaign.
But with a new manager at the helm and a handful of summer signings, the Lilywhites will believe their chances of beating the Hammers this weekend will have significantly improved.
A few more acquisitions by Friday night wouldn’t go amiss either. Spurs are known to be on the verge of signing a small but impressive collection of summer targets, so with that in mind, here’s a look at Tottenham’s ‘Dream XI’ to face the Irons.
Commonly regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the Premier League and having recently extended his White Hart Lane contract by five years, Hugo Lloris’ name is now cemented into the Tottenham team-sheet.
The France international had a strong World Cup and has now been officially handed the No.1 jersey by Spurs, following Heurelho Gomes’ departure to Championship side Watford.
There will be added competition for his spot between the sticks however, with Michel Vorm arriving from Swansea City.
Here’s a look at Lloris’ highlights from last season:
Kyle Walker is set to miss out on Tottenham’s opener against West Ham this weekend as he continues to recover from the pelvic injury that saw him absent from the World Cup.
So it’s a good job the Lillywhites have been targeting Team USA defender DeAndre Yedlin, who looked a real prospect at Brazil 2014:
— Spurs Paper™ (@SpursPaper) July 2, 2014
The 21 year-old’s World Cup campaign was brief but impressive, coming on as a substitute against Belgium and finishing the match with the most successful dribbles and key passes of any USA player, as detailed below:
And last term, the Seattle Sounders right-back became the first player since 2005 to make it into the MLS All-Star team in his rookie season.
Here’s a look at Yedlin in action:
Rather fortuitously, speculation suggests the seven-cap international could arrive at White Hart Lane just in time to resolve Tottenham’s injury issues at No.2 and take on the Hammers:
— Talking THFC™ (@TalkingTHFC) August 11, 2014
After suffering a multitude of defensive capitulations last season, Tottenham are closing in on Villarreal centre-back Mateo Muscacchio, with issues over third-party ownership seemingly the only barrier to completing the £17million deal:
Tottenham’s move for Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio should go through, despite a hitch over third-party issues (Source: Daily Mirror)
— Transfer News (@Transfer__Footy) August 7, 2014
The 23 year-old comes highly rated, having played a major factor in the Yellow Submarine recording a surprise sixth-place finish in La Liga last season.
Muscacchio’s individual displays were equally impressive, the vitals of which are detailed below:
Here’s a short clip of the Argentina international in action:
And recent speculation suggests the signing of Valencia defender Victor Ruiz at El Madrigal should push Muscacchio even closer to a Spurs switch:
Villarreal have just unveiled Víctor Ruiz, who joins on loan from Valencia. Mateo Musacchio’s move to Tottenham should now go through. #thfc
— Ben Hayward (@bghayward) August 11, 2014
Likewise to Hugo Lloris, news that Jan Vertonghen is on the verge of signing a new deal at White Hart Lane will be music to the ears of Lilywhites fans.
— Addicted to Spurs (@AddictedtoSpurs) August 4, 2014
The Belgium international appeared subdued at times last season but his inaugural Premier League campaign heralded a spot in the PFA Team of the Year.
That was in no small part due to Vertonghen’s commitment to venture forward and join the attack, illustrated perfectly in the below video:
And as viewable below, his stats from the 2012/13 campaign are incredibly impressive:
Wanted by Manchester United and Barcelona to name a few, getting the 27 year-old to agree new terms could well be Tottenham’s best business of the summer.
Tottenham’s opener against West Ham at the weekend could witness a league debut for summer signing Ben Davies.
The 21 year-old made the No.3 slot his own at former club Swansea, thrown in at the deep end to replace the injured Neil Taylor at the start of the 2012/13 campaign but holding down the position for club and country ever since.
He was in good form last season too, as detailed below:
Spurs spent last season without a resident left-back but the Wales international’s stability in the starting line-up should see their defensive record considerably improve. Here’s a look at Davies in action:
This is perhaps the most debatable spot in the whole starting XI, not least because Tottenham are privy to a plethora of like-minded talent in central midfield, including Paulinho, Sandro, Moussa Dembele and Nabil Bentaleb.
But France international Etienne Capoue has featured regularly during Tottenham’s pre-season tour and reportedly impressed throughout, despite prior rumours of an abrupt departure amid a disappointing inaugural Premier League campaign:
Tottenham set for Etienne Capoue transfer talks with Inter Milan as Italians’ president jets in: Piero Ausilio to… http://t.co/hmp5X8mD9R
— Football-News (@Bot_Football) February 27, 2014
Furthermore, midfield anchors were an integral part of Mauricio Pochettino’s game plan at Southampton and in that regard the 6 foot 3 former Toulouse star, also capable of playing at centre-back, fits the bill perfectly.
His physicality could prove vital against the Hammers and although Capoue featured just twelve times in the league last season there’s no debate over his pedigree – just take a look at the highlights from the Frenchman’s final term in Ligue 1:
He was mooted as a future star after arriving in North London for a mere £1million in January 2013, boasting a preceding reputation from his time at Schalke, but after netting just once in 24 league appearances found himself out on loan to Fulham last season.
The 23 year-old produced decent form for the Cottagers however despite their relegation, as detailed below:
And interestingly enough, he’s been incredibly prominent in Tottenham’s pre-season, netting against the Seattle Sounders:
Resultantly, many have alleged that the Germany international could feature regularly next season. His industriousness and high-energy certainly fits with Mauricio Pochettinho’s high-pressing philosophy:
Looks like Pochettino likes @LewisHoltby. Imagine his work rate off the ball fits style. Could see a lot more of him for Spurs this season
— ALEX KAY (@Alex_Kay_DM) August 11, 2014
Lewis Holtby also looks as if he can play a huge part in this season. Poch seems to like him and he fits very nicely into his plans.
— (@SpursInTheBlood) August 10, 2014
— Tottenham Pictures (@THFCPictures) August 9, 2014
Serie A giants target injured Tottenham Hotspur flop: Tottenham Hotspur could part ways with Erik Lamela after… http://t.co/1ygBLKyOS9
— Barclays League (@BarclaysLeague) May 26, 2014
But no doubt, the 22 year-old is a sensational talent. Just take a look at his top five goals for Giallorossi:
The Lilywhites appear unprepared to cash in just yet on their club record signing and Mauricio Pochettino will be keen to get the best out of his countryman.
The Argentina international has been in good form during pre-season, finding the net against Celtic:
Danish wonder-kid Christian Eriksen was used in a plethora of positions by Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood last season.
But if Mauricio Pochettino wants to get full value out of the 22 year-old playmaker, he must be given a central role that allows him to dictate traffic and get regular sight of goal.
As you can see below, the Danish international was in strong form last term and has transitioned well to the Premier League since leaving Ajax last summer:
For £11million, the former Eredivise star has proved to be a real coup. Here’s his highlights for the Lilywhites:
After setting well in north London, now is the time for Tottenham to start building a team around Eriksen.
The left side of attack was a real problem for Spurs last season, with Aaron Lennon, Nacer Chadli, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend and Christian Eriksen all struggling to make the role their own.
But that could be remedied by the weekend if Tottenham strike a deal to sign rumoured target Memphis Depay:
— The Sun – Football (@TheSunFootball) August 7, 2014
The 20 year-old PSV star destroyed the Dutch top flight last season, as seen below:
Memphis Depay: Completed more successful dribbles (101) than any other player in the Eredivisie last season #psv
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 11, 2014
The Ghana-born attacker had a solid World Cup too, claiming two goals and one assist for Oranje in a cameo role, including this far-post finish against Chile:
But whether Depay can be signed before the West Ham clash remains to be seen. PSV boss Phillip Cocu is planning to offer him a new contract.
It remains to be seen just how Mauricio Pochettino will handle the striker situation at White Hart Lane. Emmanuel Adebayor found eleven goals last season but his rebellious streak is well-known, whilst £27million signing Roberto Soldado netted just twice in open play but his all-round contribution was positive.
It could see Spurs delve into the transfer market once again, with Swansea City striker Wilfried Bony mooted as one of their potential summer targets:
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) August 5, 2014
Since joining the Welsh side from Vitesse last summer, where he had previously claimed 37 goals in his ultimate season, the 25 year-old has found 16 goals and four assists in 34 league outings. Here are some of the highlights from his inaugural Premier League campaign;
A big-n-burley, old-school centre-forward who likes to hold up play, the Ivory Coast international would be perfect for Tottenham’s lone striking role. Furthermore, recent speculation suggets the Swans are willing to scrap Bony’s release clause:
Swansea will reluctantly accept lower than Wilfried Bony’s £19m release clause as the striker looks to force a move. (Source: Mirror)
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) August 6, 2014
It remains unlikely however that a deal will be struck before Spurs take on West Ham at the weekend.