Tottenham Hotspur’s season is currently on hold, but it might as well be declared over as the club are staring down the barrel of one of their worst attempts in years.
Just nine months on from finishing as Champions League runners-up, Spurs find themselves out of all cup competitions and some seven points outside the top four in the Premier League.
They surely won’t be back on Europe’s elite stage next term.
Therefore, Daniel Levy may need to dip into his pockets for once if Jose Mourinho is to be given the best opportunity at turning things around, and the club have been linked with plenty of potential targets since the turn of the January transfer window.
So here’s what Spurs may look like come the start of next season – whenever that may be.
We’ll begin with the arrivals, there could be no fewer than four new signings, all of which of a defensive nature – the north Londoners have indeed conceded the most goals of any top ten side.
Hugo Lloris is replaced by Ajax shot-stopper Andre Onana, who according to the Daily Mail could be available for between £40m and £50m, and is even keen on a switch to the English capital.
Only two of Mourinho’s current backline make it into next term, Toby Alderweireld for his experience and Serge Aurier by way of finances – it’s unlikely that Spurs have an entirely new defence after all.
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Ruben Dias is reportedly on the Portuguese’s shortlist, he has a release clause of €100m (£90m) at Benfica but could be worth every bit of that as he’s started to prove his credentials despite only being 22.
The centre-back averages a massive 64.1 passes a game in Liga NOS at an accuracy rate of 88.8% via WhoScored, so he could well fit Spurs’ system to a tee, and the Belgian stalwart next to him provides the perfect foil to help transition him in.
Danny Rose’s likely exit means Ben Davies and Ryan Sessegnon are the only options at left-back, the latter isn’t ready according to the boss himself and the Welshman has his doubts, so a move for Alex Grimaldo could make the most sense.
Leicester’s Ben Chilwell has been mooted by the Express, but as a young England international, he will prove way too expensive while Spaniard, who also plays for Benfica, has a release clause of €60m (£54.5m) and Spurs are keen on him according to A Bola, via TEAMtalk.
The final new addition is that defensive midfielder Mourinho is craving – or as he calls it, the ‘positional’ midfielder – and given the splashes on the above trio, a move for Geoffrey Kondogbia could make sense with him valued at £25.2m by Transfermarkt.
As per SkySports, chief scout Steve Hitchen is a huge admirer of the Frenchman and he would certainly be an option to fulfil the above role.
Giovani Lo Celso gets a spot while a full pre-season under Mourinho should see Tanguy Ndombele come to the fold while a front three of Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn appears to be lethal – all three are currently out injured.
It means there are no places for Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, Dele Alli or Harry Winks, but those are certainly quite lucrative options to have off the bench.
If Spurs are to support Mourinho’s revolution in north London, then it could cost Levy over £200m, but sales from players such as Juan Foyth and Rose, as well as further investment, should make this a viable possibility.
AND in other news, Charlie Eccleshare believes rarely-seen FLOP should start for Spurs…