Even though Spurs have not grabbed many headlines this summer, the transfer business conducted in North London has been pretty impressive.
Clinton N’Jie’s recent arrival follows moves for defensive trio Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld, while deals to offload flops such as Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Roberto Soldado have brought in vital funds and sliced large salaries from the club’s outgoings.
However, the sides around Tottenham in the race for the top four have done more. Liverpool now look a transformed force, Manchester United have made wise additions and there’s even an argument that West Ham’s significant business puts them close to the Lilywhites as outsiders in the running for Champions League qualification.
One point from two games is also far from ideal in terms of starting the season, and if Spurs are to get back on course then some late window moves appears to be needed. With that in mind, here are FIVE issues facing Tottenham…
By far the standout on the ‘to do’ list at Spurs, getting a striker is a genuine priority. As things stand, the exit of Roberto Soldado has left Mauricio Pochettino with only Harry Kane and Emmanuel Adebayor to call upon, and with the club’s desire to offload the latter no secret, an injury to their 21-year-old could raise serious issues.
Luckily for the Londoners there is still some time on the clock (about two weeks to be precise) and targets are out there. Reports suggest that Saido Berahino is the man the club want, but with West Brom holding out for a sizable fee there is still work to be done. Fernando Llorente is also thought to be an option, and there’s a strong argument that the club need both.
Aside from brief spells of magic under Harry Redknapp and Tim Sherwood, Adebayor has been a costly flop at White Hart Lane. The Togolese forward always starts each era of his career well, but there are issues surrounding his motivation – just ask Arsenal or Manchester City – and performances soon slide.
On his day he can be a top-class option up front, with his intelligence, technique and power all admirable traits, and although interest has been expressed in him he remains in North London on a sizable salary. Maybe a pay-off could be the bets option, with the 31-year-old possessing the potential to be a disruptive influence.
Clinton N’Jie is now in and the Cameroonian’s presence alone will significantly increase the pace of the Spurs attack, but aside from the aforementioned ex-Lyon man, Pochettino lacks any real speedsters.
Nacer Chadli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen are not exactly slouches, but none of this trio can really be relied upon to burst past opponents, while Erik Lamela is more inclined to operate between the lines than to take on full-backs. Some more speed could help Pochettino to set up in a counter-attacking style.
As the David de Gea saga twists and turns everyday, it’s entirely feasible that the Spaniard could be a Real Madrid player by the start of September. Reports have suggested that Manchester United will look to Lloris if they’re unable to keep their man, so there is a certain degree of anxiety in North London.
Although there’s nothing to suggest that the Frenchman wants to leave White Hart Lane, the lure of Champions League football and a greater chance of winning silverware could sway him, but Spurs have always shown a reluctance to speed through sales, which counts in their favour at this stage of the summer.
The speculation is not just being limited to Lloris at White Hart Lane, with Eriksen also attracting glances. His agent, Martin Schoots, has claimed that “you never know” what’s going to happen at any stage of the transfer window amid mooted interest from Juventus, while the Dane has also talked up his “secret plan” to progress in the past.
With it being so late on in the window Spurs hold all of the aces, but they must work hard to ensure Eriksen is committed to at least seeing out the season at the club.