Spurs alternative striker issues

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Harry Kane by Enviro Warrior (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Only last summer Mauricio Pochettino stressed the need to put pressure on his top players and ensure they did not become too comfortable and according to an article on ESPN progess has been made.

It describes how we look less reliant on Toby Alderweireld than last season, and there is strong competition in both the full-back spots and central midfield especially so when everyone is fully fit.

It also adds that Pochettino has more selection headaches further forward, too, and Dele Alli will need to perform to keep his place — Son Heung-Min, Erik Lamela and January signing Lucas Moura have all scored more recently but there is still work to be done, and Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane remain untouchable. Particularly Kane.

It goes on to say that nowhere else in the squad is the gap between the first-choice and reserve player so large and, unlike in other areas, the problem is only getting harder to solve and it adds that A new signing will not necessarily tick the box.

We opted for a youthful understudy, Vincent Janssen, in 2016, before replacing him with the experienced Fernando Llorente last summer however the problem has remained the same with Neither player having had enough game time to establish a rhythm or gain the confidence needed to adequately deputise for Kane, let alone challenge him.

It adds that Kane has been utterly ruthless in keeping the door firmly locked, refusing to give Pochettino any reason to look elsewhere for goal including eight in his past nine games.

Though a consummate pro Kane is relentlessly chasing records — a third successive Golden Boot, Jimmy Greaves’ all-time goal-scoring record for Tottenham, Alan Shearer’s spot at the top of the Premier League’s scoring chart, which is often underestimated as a reason he might stay at Tottenham.

Yet, it adds, that we still need an insurance policy for if and when he is injured, and it is proving impossible to find someone who can shake off the rust whenever required and replicate Kane’s impact — even for a man with Llorente’s CV.

Kane is only improving and adding to his skillset and Llorente was supposed to provide an alternative to Spurs’ star striker, offering more physicality, an aerial threat and a Plan B — yet Kane has looked more effective in each of those areas and it adds that It is almost as if he took Llorente’s arrival as a challenge.

The article then questions whether with our wealth of exciting attacking midfielders, could wego into next season without a Janssen or Llorente, trusting Son or Alli to lead the line if necessary? Would that be too great a risk?

So instead of looking for a bonafide striker perhaps the club look for a flexible attacking player who can play out wide or through the middle? Or do we have enough of those?

It adds how our strength in depth has improved in other areas, players must now look capable of making an impact and improving the team’s performance just to earn a spot among the substitutes.

However the article concludes by saying It has become increasingly difficult for Spurs’ second-choice strikers to provide that assurance, to the extent that Pochettino has recently decided Llorente would be wasting valuable space on the bench and as a result, while Kane’s teammates are now fighting harder than ever for their places, he has never looked so secure.

The phrase “Spursy” was coined not long ago. Perhaps it’s that, only Spurs could have a striker so good that he renders the others useless.

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