Tottenham Hotspur’s defeat to Liverpool earlier in the week only emphasised how far away Jose Mourinho’s squad are from truly contending for the title under his tenure.
The north Londoners struggled to create chances against Jurgen Klopp’s fifth-choice centre-back, Nat Phillips, and Jordan Henderson, who was playing out of position on his return from injury.
Aside from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s scorching solo goal, Spurs only had one other shot on target while across 90 minutes, Mourinho’s men mustered up just three attempts in total, via SofaScore.
Tanguy Ndombele has found himself in good form lately, scoring three goals in two matches prior to kick-off but he’s still not being the creative sort of influence like Christian Eriksen once was at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Despite pulling off four successful dribbles, the Frenchman failed to convert his drives forward with any real substance, failing to contribute a single key pass to Harry Kane or Heung-min Son.
Similarly, he sits seventh for progressive carries forward (95.9 yards per 90) behind both Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – who is a more defensive influence – and Giovani Lo Celso.
His inability to get forward in this sense could be one reason why he’s not having a great influence in the attack.
Which is why the need for a new signing, perhaps in the form of mooted target Nicolo Barella, is required as soon as possible.
Spurs are said to be interested in the emerging Italy sensation by Calciomercato, just 18 months after his €49m (£45m) switch to Inter Milan from Cagliari, where former boss Rolando Maran lauded him “extraordinary.”
The 23-year-old has proven to be one of Antonio Conte’s biggest threats this term, delivering two goals and five assists. He has also managed 1.5 key passes per 90 minutes, an increase on Ndombele’s returns, per WhoScored.
Barella is also averaging 151.1 progressive carries forward per 90 minutes, a whole 56 more yards than Ndombele in the Premier League this term, so it’s no wonder that he is able to be more of a creative presence for Inter, via FBRef.
Evidently, the 18-cap Italian international can bring Spurs something that their leading man cannot, so Levy must sanction a move for him as soon as possible.
Spurs need Barella more than ever.
AND in other news, this Spurs regular betrayed Jose Mourinho against Liverpool…