As has been the case for the past few seasons, Spurs enter the looming campaign with a top four finish as their ultimate aim.
Unlike in days gone by, there is no ‘big four’ with as many as six/seven sides harbouring ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League.
While Manchester City and Chelsea are seen as nailed-on for two of the berths, Spurs are among the rest of the pack with Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United and, potentially, Southampton, and five doesn’t go into two.
While United, Liverpool and the Saints have all made impressive additions, Arsenal remain strong, Spurs have been very quiet over the summer, making next term all the more intriguing for Mauricio Pochettino’s men. The potential is there, but there are certain issues that need addressing if the Lilywhites are to return to Europe’s top table.
Here are FIVE…
The area obviously in need of investment at White Hart Lane is up front.
The Lilywhites look set to offload Roberto Soldado in the coming days while Emmanuel Adebayor’s future remains up in the air, and if both leave Mauricio Pochettino will be left with only Harry Kane.
Although the England international netted over 30 goals in all competitions last season, entering a campaign with only one forward available is unwise to put it kindly, so surely a fresh face is on the agenda.
Reports have suggested that Saido Berhino and Timo Werner are the major targets, and it would perhaps be wise on the club’s part to snap up both. The England U-21 international notched 14 Premier League goals last season and can also play from a deeper or wider roles, while the young German is thought of as one of the Bundesliga’s finest talents.
Undoubtedly the story of the 2014/15 season, Kane’s rise was staggering.
We don’t need to run through his achievements again, but once thing worth pointing out is that he faces much more difficult task this term. Unlike through the opening months of last season, Kane is not longer an unknown quantity, and opposition defenders will be given extensive briefs on how to stop him – as was shown over the closing months of the campaign just gone when his form tailed off.
Pochettino has to be aware that his main man will be getting serious attention now, and must alter his approach to help him thrive.
Kane will need support around him and runners getting past him to keep defenders occupied, while Christian Eriksen’s creativity in the ‘No.10’ zone will once gain be key.
While Benjamin Stambouli, Etienne Capoue and Paulinho were hardly key members of Pochettino’s side last term, the loss of the trio has left the Argentine short of midfield options.
Dele Alli is now in after seeing out last season with MK Dons, but at just 19 he cannot be relied upon to perform week in, week out, and there are doubts as to whether or not Nabil Bentaleb, Mousa Dembele and Ryan Mason are top four quality.
Missing out on Morgan Schneiderlin was a blow as he would have helped to bridge the gap, but there is still almost a month of transfer time on the clock…
Spurs have been involved in Europa League action long enough now for dips in weekend performance to be inexcusable.
Defeats at the hands of West Brom and Newcastle followed European group exploits early last term, and had such points not been thrown away there’s every chance that the closing weeks of the season could have presented a genuine chance of a top four finish.
It may now be time to rest first-team stars for continental games with more of a focus being put on the league, with the group phase of the competition, at least, unlikely to throw up too many difficult ties.
The Manchester United links with Hugo Lloris have cooled in recent weeks, but with David de Gea now edging towards his ever-elusive Real Madrid move, there’s every chance that they could resurface.
Should United lose their star ‘keeper they’ll look for a replacements, and recent reports from the Manchester Evening News highlighted the Frenchman as an option.
Naturally, keeping Lloris at White Hart Lane will be a massive positive, with the Frenchman, although susceptible to the odd error, among the top four/five goalies in the division.
His reading of the game allows the ex-Lyon man to play as a ‘sweeper keeper’ and there are doubts surrounding Michel Vorm’s level after a sustained period on the sidelines.