After a summer transfer window that included some disappointment and failure to land signatures, Spurs have started this season much like they finished last season. They have looked lifeless at times and the only win so far has been away at Sunderland – a club whose problems were so deep at the start of the season that they needed to call a crisis meeting within the first week of the new campaign.
Last season’s saving grace for Tottenham was the goalscoring capabilities of Harry Kane whose goals arguably saved Spurs’ season. This time, however, his midas touch as eluded him so far for his club. He doesn’t have the help he needs to get the goals for his side, and the pressure on the young man to deliver is immense.
If Tottenham are to really motor on this season and challenge properly for a top four space, then they will need to give Kane the help he needs up front. In short, Spurs need a new striker. Adding any of these men would take some of the goalscoring pressure off Kane, but would also guarantee the finishing touch to some of the nice moves the midfielders and widemen can create.
So here are six men Spurs should look to in January to bolster their attacking options, take the pressure off Kane, and add goals to their side. These aren’t Kane replacements, but rather players who can come into the team without displacing the star man…
The obvious one is Berahino, who Spurs failed to land over the summer. The player then proceeded to display his anger at chairman Jeremy Peace on Twitter, much to the amusement or displeasure of people watching, depending on your disposition. Berahino will have to have a good season – or half season – with the Baggies if he’s to get a move to a bigger club and a place on the plane to Euro 2016, but if he does show his worth over the next few months, he could be exactly what Spurs need.
His blend of movement and laser-accurate finishing would suit Spurs down to the ground, and he could even play up front alongside Kane should the occasion require it.
Rodrigo is not a natural goalscorer. He’s a forward player who can play anywhere along the attacking line, but he has very good pedigree. Last season at Valencia he played 31 times in the league and managed only three goals, but that was due to the fact he was used on the wing.
If Harry Kane is the man scoring goals for Spurs later on in the season, it would be unwise to bring someone in simply to challenge him. However if you can bring in a striker who is used to playing on the wings, you then have a challenger to the main striker who can also be used as competition or backup to the wide players too. His pace and directness could also be used to compliment Kane’s movement and finishing ability, too.
Perhaps not a big name player, Ntep has played twice for France in the last few months. He finished last season very well with Rennes and if he starts this season as well as he ended last season, he could be one to watch.
Whereas Kane and Berahino will look to receive the ball in positions where they can score, Ntep likes to get on the ball and make things happen. He doesn’t lack finishing ability, but he’s another player who can play on the wing if needed.
He was a vital part of Juventus’s title-winning campaign last season, and he played a lot of games getting them to the Champions League final last season, even starting the final itself.
He brings an all-round ability to his team, he can pass and he can finish, as well as having a brain. He’s tall and strong, but he’s agile enough to turn in tight spaces, and he’d play a similar role to Kane in the side. His goal against Manchester City in the Champions League game at the Etihad this season shows his class, and may even remind you a bit of Kane himself.
A player who has been charming Europe with the impact he makes on games, Batshuayi was used to great effect as a sub last season by former manager Marcelo Bielsa at Marseille.
Batshuayi scored four times last season within three minutes of coming onto the pitch, and on two occasions it took him less than a minute to find the net. If he is to come into the side not to displace Kane, but to compliment him, then the ability to come off the bench and make the difference is crucial.
Already a Spanish international, Alcacer is a bright prospect at his club, Valencia. At the moment, he’s fighting it out for a place in the starting lineup alongside Alvaro Negredo.
Alcacer has an eye for goal and a good positional ability. He’s not slow, but he’s a good hold-up player and is strong in the air. All of these things would make him a very good compliment to Harry Kane. He couldn’t play alongside the Englishman – they’re too similar – but to challenge him for a starting berth or to play when he needs a rest, he’s a good bet.
Pochettino wouldn’t need to alter the tactics, and he’d get the perfect replacement for his best striker.