When clubs qualify for the Champions League, as second-place Tottenham Hotspur are set to this season, it often gives them access to a higher bracket of the transfer market – players of immense quality who are only interested in playing in Europe’s top tournament.
Whether the Lilywhites will take advantage of that to the fullest extent this summer remains to be seen. Daniel Levy has been burnt in the transfer market before, most notably in summer 2013 as the club tried to fill the void of Gareth Bale with a £100million-plus spending spree.
Indeed, Spurs’ transfer model since has followed a pattern of predominantly young signings arriving at unspectacular cost and it’s hard to argue with the results. Yet, the north Londoners could still stick to those principles this summer whilst applying them to higher end of the transfer market, with Champions League football (or potentially even the Premier League title) remaining a key incentive.
With that in mind and the summer transfer window just around the corner, here are FIVE young superstars we think Tottenham should target.
Liverpool and former club Borussia Dortmund are the clubs most commonly linked with Mario Gotze, but I think Tottenham have a pretty good chance of sealing the Bayern Munich star’s services this summer as well.
The German international is perhaps best famed for netting the winner in the 2014 World Cup final, but he’s seriously suffered at club level over the last few years and most particularly this season, struggling for both fitness and form.
Verging upon the final twelve months of his Allianz Arena contract, the Bundesliga champions look set to sell this summer and the 23-year-old is certainly in need of a new home – reviving a career that once had him amongst the most exciting youngsters in world football whilst at Westfalenstadion.
Gotze can operate as an attacking midfielder, a winger or a striker, so I’m sure Mauricio Pochettino can find room for his talent in the starting Xi. In terms of price tag, £20million is certainly the right ball-park.
Ousmane Dembele may not be a superstar just yet but if the first few months of his career are anything to go by, it won’t be long until the Rennes sensation is up there with the most exciting attackers in world football.
Indeed, since making his senior debut in November, the 18-year-old has amassed twelve goals and five assists in 20 Ligue 1 outings – whilst averaging the joint-most dribbles per match of any player involved in Europe’s five leading top flights alongside Barcelona star Neymar.
That has seen pretty much every major Premier League club – including Spurs – linked with the France U21 in recent weeks, whilst Barcelona are believed to have seen a £27million transfer bid rejected, so he looks set to enter the coming window as one of world football’s hottest commodities.
Champions League football next season, coupled with Mauricio Pochettino’s reputation of bringing the best out of young players, could see the Lilywhites win the race for the prodigious winger’s signature.
Tottenham are already well-endowed in the right-back department and many will rightly question why Mauricio Pochettino should look to change a backline that has helped the Lilywhites concede the fewest goals of any Premier League side this season.
Nonetheless, Serge Aurier is a top talent and having spent the last two months in exile following some incredibly derogatory public remarks aimed at his PSG team-mates and manager Laurent Blanc, appears almost certain to be sold in the coming transfer window.
The Ivory Coast international’s form before his internal suspension was nothing short of phenomenal, grabbing two goals and two assists in 19 Ligue 1 appearances whilst averaging 3.9 tackles, 3.6 interceptions and 1.2 successful dribbles per match.
Still just 23 years of age, Aurier has an enormous future ahead of him and Spurs would be wise the capitalise on the ambiguity over his future this summer.
It seems inevitable Ilkay Gundogan will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, having allowed his contract to enter its final twelve months for the second summer in a row, and barring a move to Barcelona or Real Madrid (which seems unlikely) the Premier League represents his most plausible next destination.
The German international is famed for his energy and style on the ball, which should see him acclimatise quickly to the Mauricio Pochettino philosophy, and has been in typically good form this season, averaging 1.5 tackles, 2.2 interceptions, 2.3 successful dribbles and 1 created chance per match.
Of course, the 25-year-old has eyes for the biggest clubs in world football and recent speculation has suggested a link-up with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, whilst a Jurgen Klopp reunion at Liverpool is another popular tabloid theory.
But Gundogan would suit the style of play at White Hart Lane perfectly and the offer of Champions League football – in comparison to Liverpool or mooted suitors Manchester United, for example – gives the Lilywhites a decent chance in the race for his signature.
Tottenham Hotspur lack a viable back-up option to Harry Kane and that will surely be one of Mauricio Pochettino’s first ports of call in the transfer market this summer. Although he might cost a pretty penny – potentially as much a £40million – Alvaro Morata remains an incredibly strong candidate.
The Spain international is not the most prolific of goalscorers, netting just 25 times in 87 appearances since signing for Juventus in summer 2014, but does have a knack of scoring incredibly important goals – including five in Europe last season that took the Old Lady to the Champions League final.
Spurs have been linked with the 23-year-old before and famed for his mobility, height and power, he seems like a pretty good fit for the physical rigours of Premier League football.
Not a guaranteed starter at Juventus despite the aforementioned, many are tipping Morata to move on this summer. But whether he’d be interested in serving as Harry Kane’s understudy remains to be seen and as previously mentioned, he could set the Lilywhites back a club-record sum.