What have we got?

Image: SpursWeb

Another record-breaking transfer window has closed, with Janssen, Lopez, Nkoudou, Sissoko and Wanyama joining the club.

I am going to focus on the outfield players.

Sissoko seemed to have a bit of an up and down season last year, but was a very decent player for France this summer. Janssen and Nkoudou are the type of players that Pochettino will improve. Wanyama is a proven EPL player.

I will provide what I believe are relevant stats and comparisons.

In this article I outlined the importance of Dembele, the fact that we have no one else lined up and ready to play his role, his affects on others, and the challenge that the stats do not really tell the story in regard to how pivotal Dembele has been to success. I also noted that we cannot manage with just one player capable of playing that role.

Sissoko may be the player we need to play in that slot, either alongside Dembele or as an alternative. In addition, Sissoko can play in a more attacking or wing role. Wanyama is a more defensive midfielder, and again, stats do not tell the story of the importance of his contribution. Nonetheless, let’s look at the three together. You might wonder why I have not included goals scored. It is because they do not score any goals.

Stats are per 90 minutes for 2015-16. Figures are rounded.

  Dembele Sissoko Wanyama
Total passes 54 39 48
Forward passes 30 21 31
Pass completion % 90 76 82
Chances created 1 2 1
Shots 1 1 1
Shot accuracy % 56 44 21
Duels 62 46 46
Interceptions 2 1 2
Clearances 2 1 2


What do the figures show? First, they show what a fantastic player we have in Dembele. Second, they show the possibility that Sissoko, having performed to this level in a relegated side, might be a key player for us. They cannot show the kinds of things I mentioned in my previous article, such as Kane’s goal scoring rate with Dembele in the side.

Let’s now look at Janssen and Nkoudou and compare with Dele, Eriksen and Lamela.


Stats are per 90 minutes for 2015-16. Figures are rounded.

  Janssen Nkoudou Dele Eriksen Lamela
Total passes 27 26 29 35 34
Pass completion % 73 82 76 82 79
Chances created 2 1 2 3 3
Shots 5 2 3 3 2
Shot accuracy % 55 53 60 55 54
Goals 1 in 1 1 in 4 1 in 3 1 in 5 1 in 5
Duels 50 49 44 48 36
Yellow cards 1 in 10 0 1 in 4 0 1 in 3

With these new additions, and with Sissoko capable of playing the Dembele role (and maybe adding something) I have no doubt Kane will score enough goals. I have therefore not included him here.

Janssen is a proven scorer but not in the EPL. I have a feeling he will be fine. Nkoudou may chip in with more goals than Eriksen or Lamela and he may add a bit of pace that we have been missing. On recent performances I would be tempted to play him and Janssen and drop both Eriksen and Lamela.

Eriksen needs to buck up, but I have seen him perform well over a season. I have not seen Lamela do that. His propensity to give away the ball is worrying. His ability to pick up yellow cards is worrying. A 36% duel win rate is very poor. 1 goal in 5 games is very poor. A yellow card every 3 games is very poor. I keep hearing that he needs to be nurtured. Surely enough is enough?

I am a strong believer in the value of shots on target. Anything can happen if you make the goalkeeper work. All of these players have pretty decent rates in this regard, but we need to get a higher shot rate per game from some.

Overall, I think this has been a successful transfer window. The international break gives time for the manager to get the team in shape with the new players. A win at Stoke in just over a week would mean a great start to the season and would mean my make my predictions for the first four games 100% accurate.

Do you think it was a decent transfer window? Please leave your comments below.

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Brian has been a Spurs supporter from around 1960, so was there for the double, the FA Cup in 1962 and the European Cup Winners Cup in 1963. He admits to having cried when Spurs lost to Benfica in the 1962 European Cup Semi-final and to times when he could weep when watching Spurs for the past few years (but for very different reasons). Brian has been lucky enough to see greats such as Jimmy Greaves, Pat Jennings, Glenn Hoddle and Paul Gascoigne. During the 60s, 70s and 80s Spurs won at least one domestic trophy and one European trophy each decade (with those wonderful all white strip floodlit games). It has taken Brian more than 20 years to realise that may take a while to come back, but hope lives on.


  1. Lamela has been our best performer so far this season by a long way, get rid of your stats and watch an actual game. Without him our pressing and Pochs game plan disappears.

  2. Lamela was ok in 2 games. He was pathetic in one. He looked good in two games because the rest were so poor.. There is no end product. His show pony trick and running about do not impress me at all.

    I watch every game.

    The percentages are for the season. Sorry, I should have mentioned that.

  3. Lamela, though a good footballer, makes too many fouls for my liking. He gave away a stupid penalty against Liverpool otherwise we would have picked 3 points from that game. Why on earth did he have to trip his opponent in the penalty box especially that there was no menace of any score? This is the kind of silly thing that happens to Spurs much too often ad it did happen frequently last season depriving us of many wins…When shall we learn? In this respect, we have not had a proper start this season..

  4. Since moving to Newcastle in January 2013, only Eden Hazard (480) and Raheem Sterling (292) have completed more dribbles than Sissoko (271). In three full Premier League seasons he ranked fifth for key passes from open play (175). At Euro 2016 – only Hazard (24) and Gareth Bale (23) completed more dribbles than Sissoko (18).

    He keeps the ball.

    So Lamela lose the ball 65% of the time, does not complete anywhere near the same number of dribbles and key passes, but is somehow our best player. Amazing.

    Sissoko did these things whilst in a very poor Newcastle side.

    Lamela's days are numbered.


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