Tottenham Hotspur may have missed out on the Premier League title, following their feisty 2-2 draw with London rivals Chelsea on Monday night, but it has unquestionably been a season of incredible progress at White Hart Lane.
Indeed, Mauricio Pochettino has turned a top four challenging team into a young, industrious and inventive title-contending side that are currently on course to record Spurs’ strongest finish to campaign since the 1962/63 season.
Likewise, the bitter-fought point against Chelsea on Monday night guaranteed Spurs’ spot in the Champions League next season – the first time they’ll be involved in Europe’s top competition in over four years.
Attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen believes the incentive of Champions League football will bring a new calibre of player to White Hart Lane during the summer transfer window and we at FootballFanCast feel inclined to agree.
So with that in mind and the coming window now just around the corner, here’s a list of FIVE previously unrealistic summer transfers that are now firmly within the Lilywhites’ reach.
With his contract due to expire at the end of next season, a host of clubs are reportedly looking to prize Henrikh Mkhitaryan away from Borussia Dortmund this summer – most notably Arsenal and Chelsea. But Spurs are set to finish higher than both of their London rivals so there’s no reason they can’t join the race for the Armenian assassin as well, especially considering the aforementioned contract situation should see him leave Westfalen on the cheap this summer.
Dortmund’s style of play isn’t too far apart from the Mauricio Pochettino philosophy and the lightening-paced attacking midfielder, who has netted a whopping 23 times across all competitions this season, would be an ideal upgrade on right winger Erik Lamela.
Tottenham were one of the clubs chasing Barcelona’s Marc Bartra last summer but the promise of greater game-time at the Nou Camp coupled with the north London outfit’s inability to offer Champions League football inevitably saw them miss out.
But the Spain international is on the market once again – his contract expires in 2017 and he’s made just four La Liga outings so far this season – and just like last summer, plenty of Premier League clubs have been linked with his services including the Lilywhites.
But top-tier European football combined with Mauricio Pochettino’s ever-growing reputation gives Spurs a distinct advantage in the race for the 25-year-old’s signature. In fact, some reports from Spain have even claimed Spurs are the front-runners.
With the exception of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, no player in Europe will combine top-class quality and availability better this summer than Bayern Munich’s Mario Gotze. He’s another whose contract is due to expire at the end of next season and having spent the last few campaigns on the peripheries of the Bavarians’ squad, a summer departure seems largely inevitable.
A return to Borussia Dortmund or a reunion with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool has become the predominant narrative in the tabloids. But a young, technical, energetic and versatile attacking midfielder, the 23-year-old would be a good fit at Tottenham Hotspur as well. Similarly, unlike the Reds, Spurs can offer the German international Champions League football next season.
Saul Niguez has risen to superstardom amid Atletico Madrid’s march to the Champions League final, grabbing a stellar assist against Barcelona and producing an incredible solo goal in the first leg against Bayern Munich, but his future at the Allainz Arena remains a little murky amid rumours the 21-year-old is holding out on a new contract.
That has seen Arsenal and Manchester United linked with the Spain U21 in recent weeks but Spurs stand as good a chance as anyone of acquiring his services. The versatile starlet, whose positions have ranged from centre-back to No.10 this season, would be a fantastic long-term addition to Pochettino’s developing side.
Despite failing to hold down a permanent spot in the Juventus starting line-up, Alvaro Morata remains one of Europe’s most exciting young strikers. He’s mobile, tall, good on the ball and has a knack of scoring important goals – notching up five in the Champions League as the Old Lady marched to last season’s final.
Rumour has it Real Madrid will activate a buyback clause before selling on their former youngster at a profit this summer, with the likes of Arsenal and Bayern Munich the frame to snap the 23-year-old up. But Spurs are long-term admirers of the Spain international and he’d be a fantastic signing to share goalscoring duties with Harry Kane – although the north Londoners may be put off by his alleged £40million valuation.