Tottenham’s failure to sign a striker in the January transfer window means that the club are likely to play without a recognised front-man for the remainder of the season given the long-term injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-min Son. Lucas Moura has been the designated centre-forward since Kane’s injury but the Brazilian has struggled – in fact, he’s yet to score when deployed up top.
Having deemed young forward Troy Parrott not ready, Jose Mourinho needs to find a solution to the biggest problem Spurs face right now as they attempt to finish the campaign inside the top four. Football FanCast outlines three potential answers below…
The stats support the idea of Alli playing up front. The Tottenham midfielder has seven Premier League goals this season, the most of any Spurs player behind Son and Kane.
Spurs face Chelsea this weekend away from home, a fixture where Alli has enjoyed some of his best form in recent years. The 23-year-old has five goals in six Premier League appearances against the Blues, which suggests that he will be Tottenham’s best chance of finding the net in the London derby.
Wednesday night’s defeat to RB Leipzig showed that Spurs need some height in their attack, with lifted crosses into the box for Lucas proving pointless. Alli, meanwhile, measures in at 6 foot 2 and has scored nine headed goals in the Premier League.
Steven Bergwijn wasted no time in announcing himself on the big stage with a stunning debut goal against Manchester City.
The Dutch international has brought a new level of energy to what has been a sluggish Spurs side this season and already has the highest shots average at the club behind Kane and Son, with 2.5 over his two Premier League outings. His explosive pace and mobility gives Spurs the ability to get in behind opposition defences – something that could work well away from home against high-quality opposition like Chelsea.
Despite this, Bergwijn made nine appearances as a striker for PSV in which he failed to score a single goal. The 22-year-old will need to improve on those numbers if he is to become the solution to Spurs’ striker shortage.
With only two Premier League goals to his name this season, Erik Lamela is by no means the most prolific player at Mourinho’s disposal. However, he could prove a very effective false 9 for Spurs if he drops deep and uses his creativity – he’s averaged 1.6 key passes per 90 minutes this season – to bring the likes of Bergwijn and Alli into the game.
Lamela’s tenacity could be a real asset up front too. The most recent example of this came in his cameo appearance against RB Leipzig on Wednesday night. The Argentine was lively, energetic and brought an intensity that completely changed the dimension of the last 20 minutes, winning an impressive eight duels.
Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Erik Lamela return from injury for Spurs against RB Leipzig:
⏰ Minutes Played: 26
🦶 Touches: 25
🔑 Passing Accuracy: 87%
💪 Duels Won: 8
🔒 Tackles: 1
🏃🏻 Dribbles: 1
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) February 19, 2020
If Lamela can use that aggression to press opposition defenders into mistakes, while creating chances for others, he could prove an unorthodox yet shrewd option to lead the line.