Tottenham Hotspur have cemented their role as the nearly team in the Premier League. Every year the club show early promise of Champions League qualification but time and time again they fall short in the final weeks.
This summer the club are in danger of falling even further behind their rivals after a slow start to the transfer window.
Rivals Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Man City and Man United have all improved their squads with a number of key signings, including the likes of Petr Cech, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Roberto Firmino.
Fans of the White Hart Lane outfit will be no doubt starting to worry.
Mauricio Pochettino has only made the relatively low key signings so far this summer, strengthening their leaky defence with the signings of right back Kieran Trippier from Burnley, slightly more impressive centre back Toby Alderwiereld from Atletico Madrid and FC Koln defender Kevin Wimmer.
There is no disputing that chairman Daniel Levy has a lot more work to do over the coming weeks to dramatically improve what currently seems a very average Spurs side.
The weakest area of the side is certainly the midfield. How Pochettino plans to achieve anything with players like Andros Townsend, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb starting every week is baffling.
All three would certainly not look out of place in the Championship, which is not acceptable for a club supposedly challenging for Champions League football.
However, the north London side have been linked with a number of more talented additions already this summer.
The latest names in the hat are James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas, with the Independent reporting that a £20million swoop for the Everton pair is close.
Both players would certainly improve the quality in that Tottenham midfield.
Belgium International Mirallas has never managed to cement his place in the starting line-up at Goodison Park and has grown frustrated with life under manager Roberto Martinez. The recent arrival of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona has only poked the fire regarding Mirallas’ future and a move away looks likely.
The winger would easily be the best wide midfielder at the club. His speed and technical ability are major strengths of his game, not to mention the player’s pure determination to get in a position to fire a shot on target.
Sitting either side of Christian Eriksen in the attacking three midfield spots would suit the 27-year-old, being able to thrive off the Danish star’s playmaking.
West Ham have also been linked with the player, but it is believed that Spurs are in the driving seat, offering more of a step up from life at Everton.
Another Everton player being courted by Spurs is James McCarthy.
His consistently impressive performances have led to attention from Man City and Pochettino’s side this summer. The Ireland international is a solid midfielder, particularly strong when it comes to the defensive side of the game, including tackling and recovering the ball, but the player’s distribution is also an impressive aspect of this talents.
McCarthy would be a step up in class from Mason/Bentaleb, offering a more physical and experienced presence in the middle of the park, something that Spurs have lacked for a long time.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be determined to hold on to two of his most prized assets but, unfortunately for him, that isn’t all that easy – especially with Tottenham able to offer the duo regular European football.