Tottenham’s role as the nearly-men of English football has continued this season, with the White Hart Lane outfit seemingly a top-quality player or two away from a consistent challenge for Champions League qualification.
The North London side will look to bolster the playing contingent this summer, with Mauricio Pochettino surely wanting to put his own hallmarks on a squad that he inherited ahead of this season.
Although there are a number of areas where the Argentine needs to reinforce, arguably the trickiest is on the right-hand side of midfield.
In Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1 formation, Spurs have lacked a consistent option on the right flank to contribute to the team’s attacking efforts over the course of the campaign.
Andros Townsend is one of the homegrown players that have progressed through the youth ranks into the first team and on to gain England recognition.
The speedy winger’s showings for the North London club have been mightily frustrating for the White Hart Lane outfit to stomach however, with the former QPR loanee not fully convincing.
The lack of end product has been the main issue, with Townsend seemingly more effective for his country than club.
The other option currently at Pochettino’s disposal is his compatriot Erik Lamela, who was signed at great expense last summer but has failed to live up to his billing as a player capable of filling the sizeable void left by Gareth Bale.
Although the Argentine attacker has improved this season and clearly has excellent technique, he has struggled to influence games and his lightweight frame has held him back in English football.
Although splurging on a new addition to bolster Spurs’ options in the position is a real option, there may well be another player already at the club to fit the bill.
Alex Pritchard has been on loan at Brentford this season and continues to impress in The Championship, with high hopes from the Spurs faithful that the 21-year-old is ready for top-flight action.
After temporary spells at Peterborough and Swindon over recent seasons, the homegrown star has shown maturity, trickery and speed in abundance to make him one of the standout players in the England second-tier this season.
11 strikes in The Championship so far in 2014-15 show that the youngster has an eye for goal, while his individual displays of skill and ability to deliver a killer pass have also stood out.
Although the step-up in quality from the English second tier to the Premier League is considerable, Pritchard looks to have all the attributes to be given a chance to impress in the big time.
With regular showings for England under-21’s also and the European Championships in Czech Republic happening this summer, the youngster will have another chance to impress.
Pochettino has shown faith in academy graduates at both Southampton and Tottenham; it looks like Pritchard is the next in line to follow in the footsteps of Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and a promising contingent of young Spurs stars.