Opinion: Are Tottenham too reliant on Kane and Son?

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

It was a detrimental week for Tottenham in their title tilt after they drastically slipped from first to fifth place in the Premier League, picking up just one point out of a possible nine.

Rather than a show of mentality against Leicester City, Jose Mourinho’s side looked jaded following their midweek defeat to Liverpool.

When Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are firing on all cylinders, there is no worry for Tottenham as they possess one of the deadliest duos in Europe. However, if they suffer from injuries or have an off day, who else can pick up the slack?

Tottenham woefully missed a hand full of chances at Anfield which in turn cost them the game and their stay at the pinnacle of the Premier League table. It highlighted Spurs’ reliance on the prolific form of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son and the lack of quality elsewhere in front of goal, both off the pace against Leicester. Despite the resources of Steven Bergwijn, Lucas Moura and Gareth Bale amongst others, Spurs have scored just five goals when removing Kane and Son’s contributions. 

Tottenham’s’ issue with the rest of the pack is the struggle to be clinical, Lucas Moura will dine off his heroics in Amsterdam but has contributed little since.

Steven Bergwijn was presented with two match-winning opportunities against Liverpool but scuppered both. His signing looked promising after his debut wonder goal against Manchester City but has since failed to hit the ground running. Bergwijn works tirelessly for the team, with Mourinho favouring the winger for his defensive contribution, which does not go unnoticed but his trade as an attack-minded player has had minimal impact.

Gareth Bale’s return to the club was greeted as if he were the Messiah but he is far from the superstar who left seven years ago. Spurs hoped that saving Bale from his Madrid nightmare would allow him to slot in as the third assassin alongside Kane and Son, yet Bale has managed a handful of cameo appearances with his only league goal coming against Brighton. It is feasible that Bale could spring into action since overcoming his fitness issues, but Spurs cannot pin their hopes on their former talisman recovering his previous form.

Benfica’s Carlos Vinicius was brought in as a second striker to relive pressure from Harry Kane’s shoulders. The Brazilian has mainly been deployed in Spurs’ Europa League campaign and sat warming the bench against Leicester. It begs the question, with Tottenham trailing why some substitutes were preferred over an out-and-out striker in Vinicius. In a lacklustre, lethargic performance, Vinicius’ introduction could not have caused Tottenham any further damage. The 25-year-old faces a near-impossible task find his feet in the Premier League without game time.

The departure of Christian Eriksen left a shortage of goals from midfield, remove out-of-favour Dele Alli from the equation too, there are few dependable outlets to chip with extra fire power when required. Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela have stepped up on occasion but with recurring injuries and squad rotation, neither have proved themselves as regular contributors. 

Despite moans over some of Eriksen’s insipid performances at the end of his Spurs tenure, a gaping void has been left which Spurs must fix. Spurs will rue their missed chance in signing former target Jack Grealish in 2018 (The Telegraph), who would have been the perfect piece of the puzzle and replacement for Eriksen.

If Spurs are to regain ground at the top of the table and ease the load from Kane And Son, Reinforcements in the form of a goal-scoring midfielder and additional artillery up front are imperative for Tottenham this upcoming transfer window.

 

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