There is no doubt that the Spurs defence was incredibly weak last season, leaking the most goals out of any team in the top 10. This was the defining factor for Spurs’ lacklustre season.
In the season gone by, Spurs conceded 63 goals – this was simply not the standard for any team looking to get into Europe. Spurs finished with over 60 goals scored and conceded. The last team to do this was also Spurs in the 2007/08 season (BBC).
The blame cannot solely lie with the formation, as Antonio Conte’s teams have historically been defensively strong in the shape used at Spurs. During his time at Chelsea in 2016/17, they conceded 33 goals, a far better defensive record than Spurs this year (Fotmob).
The players in Tottenham’s defence have been heavily criticised over the last three seasons, yet little has changed. Since Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld left Spurs, the defence has been consistently weak.
The rebuild under Ange Postecoglou will see the shift to a 433 formation. This does not currently suit the Spurs defence, and it will lead to a number of outgoings and some new talent coming to Hotspur Way.
One outgoing could be Eric Dier (Fabrizio Romano). He has been a regular starter in Spurs’ defence since José Mourinho decided he would be best suited as a centre-back. Since the position change, Dier has been inconsistent in his performances, with this year by far being his worst season in Lilywhite.
Another likely exit will be Davison Sanchez, who has also had a disappointing season. The 27-year-old has only featured in 18 Premier League games (Fotmob).
In each one, he received extensive criticism for his underwhelming performances. Against Bournemouth, he came on for an injured Clement Lenglet, and he was booed off after only 23 minutes.
Ivan Perišić could be a victim of the rebuild under Postecoglou. Perišić has had a mixed season where he was Spurs’ best creator with 8 assists in the premier league (Fotmob), yet his defending let him down on numerous occasions. Due to this, it’s unlikely that he will be used as a left-back, and therefore he could be sold.
For Ryan Sessengon, it looks like his time is up. Last season, we saw him lose his spot to Perišić, and he then struggled with injuries for a large majority of the season.
When Sessengon was purchased from Fulham, it looked like we had a future star on our hands, but unfortunately, his light has burned out and he could be replaced by another young wingback, Destiny Udogie.
Japhet Tanganga could look for a move this summer. Tanganga has not received the game time he would like, and when he has played, he has looked rusty. We saw this in the 4-1 loss to Leicester, where Leicester ran rings around the Spurs backline.
Hugo Lloris will most likely leave Spurs in this transfer window. The club captain has made 447 appearances for Spurs and, despite his poor form of late, will go down as a Spurs legend.
Due to the extensive list of outgoings for Spurs this summer, Postecoglou will have to reinforce the backline.
Christian Romero looks like the obvious starter at centre-back; he will most likely be supported by Pedro Porro and Udogie on the flanks. If Postecoglou looks for a more conservative model, he will favour Emerson Royal on the right-hand side.
One transfer that looks to be gaining traction and could be completed very soon is David Raya (Fabrizio Romano). The Brentford keeper had a stellar season and he could be the heir to Lloris’s throne.
Options at the back – Starting with Aymeric Laporte
The spot Spurs will have to reinforce is the left centre-back. Over the years, Spurs have just patched over this position due to the rare and costly nature of a left-footed centre-back. Nevertheless, we will have to invest this year if we want a firm backbone for Postecoglou’s rebuild.
A great option would be Aymeric Laporte. The Manchester City centre-back hasn’t featured as much as he would have liked this season due to the arrival of Manuel Akanji and the form of Nathan Ake.
Laporte would be a perfect signing for Spurs, as he is an elite-level defender who has shown clear leadership for the Spanish national team. Where he lacks pace, Romero could make up for it. With these two in the Spurs defence, Postecoglou could have a formidable duo.
Pau Torres has been forever linked with Spurs (Football Transfers), with constant transfer sagas across different windows. Right now would be the perfect time to cash in on him as his contract expires next year. However, he could be tempted by his former manager, Unai Emery, at Aston Villa.
A younger and cheaper alternative could be Roger Ibanez. The 24-year-old defender has thrived at Roma under Mourihno.
Despite his age, he has started in 32 games, putting in consistent performances. One issue is that he is right-footed but nevertheless, he has played most of his games on the left side.
No matter what the choice, Spurs will have to invest. One can only hope that Levy does this properly instead of papering over the cracks that have been apparent since the departure of the Belgium wall of Vertonghen and Alderweireld.
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