November is upon us, and that means we are now less than two months away from the January transfer window!
There’s a part of every football fan that loves the rumour mill, with the excitement generated from the possibilities enough to spark optimism among even the most dour of supporter groups.
Okay, nobody appreciates the farfetched speculation (remember Sports Direct News’ woeful Wayne Rooney to Newcastle stunt?) but the transfer talk is genuinely rousing, and there’s plenty of that surrounding Spurs right now.
The Londoners have enjoyed a fine start to the season – they’re undefeated since the opening day of the campaign – the mood at White Hart Lane is pretty good. However, there are areas in which Mauricio Pochettino’s squad could be stronger, which may need to be addressed to maintain a top four push.
With that in mind, here are FIVE rumours that may come true in January…
A genuine risk of a signing, but one that could pay off for Spurs. Pato is understood to be available for the right price (around £18.6m) in January and has already talked up moving back across the Atlantic Ocean, and with Spurs short in terms of attacking options, it makes a degree of sense to move for the 26-year-old.
In his teenage years Pato had the world at his feet, but after a series of serious injuries during his spell with AC Milan the forward slipped back to his homeland to rebuild his career with Corinthians. Things didn’t’ work out for him at Arena Corinthians, but a loan move to divisional rivals Sao Paulo has paid dividends, and the former Selecao man is now hot property once again.
Unlike Harry Kane, the ex-Rossoneri star offers a real threat in behind opposing defences, while his deft touch and clover movement could bring the best out of the England ace in a front two. A fee of close to £20m may be a little excessive, but should the Londoners be able to negotiate a better deal a move is realistic.
Not blessed with blistering pace or awesome power, Basel’s Embolo has emerged as a teenage talent due to his game intelligence. The Cameroonian attacker is already a regular for the Swiss side at the age of 18, and Spurs are reportedly monitoring his progress. It’s easy to see why, too, with Embolo able to play in any position in the final third, with his movement and finishing standout traits.
He appears ideally suited to Pochettino’s high-pressing, organised game plan, and with Basel unable to truly match his ambitions in the long run, a 2016 move seems possible.
Reports of a £5m asking price have been circulating, making the 77-cap Japan international all the more appealing. Spurs, like West Ham, have been linked with Honda, who could inject greater creativity into the Lilywhites’ attacking midfield zone. As things stand the majority of the club’s forward play goes through Christian Eriksen, but with the season likely to be long and arduous for the Londoners, the Dane cannot be relied upon to keep firing on all cylinders throughout.
Honda could be used in tandem with, or instead of, the current White Hart Lane idol, and would also offer another threat from set-pieces.
A January move has been talked up for the big Belgian, who has really kicked on this season. Six goals in 14 Jupiler League outings for Genk this term and a ‘one cap, one goal’ showing at international level mean that the 26-year-old’s stock is at an all-time high, and with Spurs short in on attacking options given that Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado were axed over the summer, Depoitre is sure to be an appealing proposition.
Although not the most mobile of forwards, his 6ft. 3” frame appears well-suited to the rigours of Premier League football, and with his game having been compared to that of compatriot Christian Benteke, the omens are good.
PSG’s classy playmaker may only be 20, but Spurs fans already know all about him by now with the links having been strong and plentiful for some time. Once again the Lilywhites are back in the mix amid suggestions that the curly-hared pass-master is frustrated at Paris, and with his game time having been limited to just 374 minutes in Ligue 1 action so far this term, it’s easy to see why his feet are growing itchy at the Parc des Princes.
Pochettino may have decent options in central midfield, but none of Nabil Bentaleb, Ryan Mason, Eric Dier and Dele Alli are known for their creativity, so Rabiot could provide the spark needed in tight games.