Now 20 games into the 2015/16 Premier League campaign, we’re beginning to get a taste of what the league table will probably look like at the end of May.
Tottenham Hotspur find themselves in fourth place and just six points behind table-topping local rivals Arsenal, leading some to claim they’ve become rank outsiders in this season’s title race.
We at Football Fancast aren’t quite so convinced. Remember when Sir Alex Ferguson claimed Spurs were playing the best football in the Premier League back in 2012? Or when the £110million spent after Gareth Bale’s departure in summer 2013 had half of the British media insist that they’d become genuine title competitors overnight? We’ve been here before.
But amid a Premier League season not quite like any other, where Leicester City are setting records at the top and Chelsea are battling it out at the bottom, it seems anything is possible – especially with a bit of expert recruitment during the January transfer window.
With that in mind, here are our FIVE suggested signings that could transform the Lilywhites into genuine title challengers.
With his Stoke City contract reportedly including a £10million release clause, versatile forward Bojan could well become one of the best value-for-money signings of the January transfer window.
The former Barcelona star isn’t the world-beating successor to Lionel Messi once heralded, hence the move to the Britannia Stadium in summer 2014, but his tiki-takia technical qualities are undoubted and he’s been in good form this season, netting five times in 15 Premier League outings.
His blend of natural creativity and industriousness suits the Mauricio Pochettino philosophy perfectly and although Tottenham aren’t exactly short at No.10, Bojan would bolster depth in a number of other positions as well, particularly up front and out wide.
He may not be the most pleasing on the eye but Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini certainly has his uses.
Throughout his nine seasons in the Premier League, the Belgium international has proved the tactical expediency of his 6 foot 5 frame in both offensive and defensive terms, using it to score goals regularly whilst marking attacking threats out of the game.
It hasn’t quite worked out for the 28-year-old at Manchester United and overall, he’s not the most-suited to Tottenham’s highly mobile, highly-energetic style of football.
But he’d certainly provide Mauricio Pochettino with something a little different and Fellaini has always found a way to impact the heavyweight fixtures – which Spurs will need to pick up points in if they’re to become a genuine threat in this season’s title race.
He’s been in Tottenham’s transfer crosshairs for over a year already and seems like the ideal candidate to serve as understudy to first-choice striker Harry Kane.
Indeed, West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino is home-grown, versatile, young and laden with firepower, boasting 14 goals in 38 Premier League appearances for the relegation-threatened side last season.
Spurs infamously saw a deal collapse for the 22-year-old during the summer and most expect the north London club to revive their interest, especially considering Berahino has found himself a peripheral figure in Tony Pulis’ plans for much of the campaign.
But whether the Baggies are still willing to do business with Daniel Levy remains to be seen. Furthermore, their valuation of Berahino appears to be around the £25million mark, which seems a little steep.
Another potential strike addition already known to have take Tottenham’s fancy is Marseille’s prodigious front-man Michy Batshuayi, who has been watched by Lilywhites scouts on numerous occasions already this season.
Belgium internationals have taken the Premier League by storm in recent years and the 22-year-old could be the next arrival to maintain that trend. He boasts power, pace and leap in almost equal measure and has bagged eleven goals and five assists in 18 Ligue 1 outings this season.
The 5 foot 11 forward seems almost purpose-built for the English game and his current haul is no great surprise; he netted 39 goals in 91 league appearances during his three years with Standard Liege.
The only problem, however, is one of price-tag. Strikers are at a premium this January with so many clubs on the lookout and Marseille chairman Vincente Labrune has publicly valued Batshuayi at a whopping £35million.
If one of world football’s top stars is there for the taking this January, it’s unquestionably Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze.
Indeed, the 23-year-old attacking midfielder bagged the winner for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final but has struggled to find similar success at club level since moving to the Allianz Arena in summer 2013.
He’s barely exceed the role of a rotation option under Pep Guardiola and has often missed out on the Bavarians’ most important fixtures, particularly in the Champions League, leading his agent to kick up quite the fuss about playing time during the summer.
Having gone on the register just four starts in the Bundesliga, it seems more than likely Bayern will be open to selling this month – especially with Gotze’s contract set to expire at the end of next season.
The 46-cap international should be within Spurs’ financial reach, but rivalled interest from clubs offering Champion League football is admittedly a potential stumbling block.