Tottenham Hotspur’s arduous, fairly calamitous and often farcical managerial search finally, yes finally, came to an end on Wednesday evening.
The North London outfit announced the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo on a two-year contract, some 72 days after his fellow countryman Jose Mourinho was sacked.
Nuno was the latest name recommended to chairman Daniel Levy by newly-hired sporting director Fabio Paratici, who saw moves for Antonio Conte, Paulo Fonseca and Gennaro Gattuso fall through.
“Our key points for this season would be to come back to discipline, to work physically hard, to develop our players, our young players and Nuno is very good in this job,” claimed the Italian supremo to the club’s official website, before later adding:
“Also, he adapted a lot of players for his system. Before Wolverhampton, he was in Porto and played another system, 4-4-2, and in Valencia, he played 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1, so he has this kind of open mind about different systems and players, which is one of the reasons that we chose him.”
So what could life look like for Spurs under the 47-year-old former goalkeeper? Football FanCast delve into the possibility, with a little backing from the board in the summer transfer market…
Given the opposition to his arrival, that being largely down to his perceived negative three-at-the-back system at Wolves, we expect the Portuguese coach to opt for a 4-3-3 that has drawn praise from Paratici.
There are plenty of mounting issues to resolve in N17 – the future of Harry Kane is perhaps the biggest but according to Fabrizio Romano, Levy is adamant that he’s not going anywhere, which will come as a huge boost to Nuno.
Furthermore, Heung-min Son is close to agreeing to a new long-term extension and these two will perhaps be the first two names on the team sheet.
However, they could be joined by the addition of a new winger, especially with Spurs said to be willing to listen to offers for both Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.
It wouldn’t be a transfer window without Nuno and Spurs being linked to one of Jorge Mendes’ clients and we could see Nuno raid his former club for Goncalo Guedes.
According to Sphera Sports editor Domingo Ortiz, Spurs are now a potential destination for the Gestifute client following the arrival of the Portuguese manager.
In midfield, Nuno will have plenty of options to choose from but it’s likely that it’ll be Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the anchorman role, giving Tanguy Ndombele some freedom further forward.
Giovani Lo Celso and Dele Alli could compete for that final spot but reported interest in Houssem Aouar is rather intriguing. For just £20m, Nuno could land himself his next creative playmaker, something Spurs have lacked since Christian Eriksen’s departure nearly 18 months ago.
One final summer addition could see Spurs make a double raid on Lyon, with Joachim Andersen widely expected to be the centre-back they sign this window, following a successful loan stint at Fulham.
He may well slot straight in, with midfielder-turned-defender taking up a spot as Nuno’s new Conor Coady, who has followed the same sort of transition into a ball-playing defender under his tenure in the Midlands.
Nuno will also know Matt Doherty well from his time at Molineux, with Sergio Reguilon the perfect option on the other flank.
Club captain Hugo Lloris is also likely to remain in the starting XI heading into 2021/22.