Opinion: Seven problem positions and 23 players Spurs could sign to solve them

Daniel Levy
GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

After a 72-day long managerial search, Tottenham have finally got their man in Nuno Espirito Santo. 

Now, Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici have a big summer ahead with many positions in need of desperate upgrades. 

Many players will already be looking for exits, meaning that a fair few should be out the door in the coming weeks, hopefully raising some funds in the process.  

The priority position that needs significant investment is the defence. 

To put it simply, the current Tottenham Hotspur centre backs, with the exception of Joe Rodon, are just not good enough and this has been a position in need of investment for some time now. 

Players will need selling but regardless of who leaves, we need at least two new centre backs. 

For me, Jules Kounde is absolutely perfect for what we need. Kounde, despite being 5ft,10 is a brilliant aerial presence winning 3.66 aerial duels per 90 (Fbref).

However, his best attribute that would suit Spurs is his dribbling ability, which sits at 0.83 per 90 that is in the 98th percentile in comparison to centre backs in Europe with his progressive carries also being excellent at 5.45 per 90 (Fbref). 

This allows him to maraud out of defence and beat an opposition press which is something we have lacked for a long time now. He would fit into a back three perfectly and can help us to build from the back. 

However, whether Kounde would want to come to Spurs is unlikely and the price wouldn’t be cheap, making any deal unlikely. 

Another luxury option would be Pau Torres who excels on the ball and also has a brilliant dribbling ability who played a key role in Unai Emery’s Villereal’s Europa League winning side.

Emery is a manager who likes to build from the back and Torres was fundamental to that. The fact that he is left-footed also helps his cause as there is a shortage of top left-footed central defenders.

However, the price will likely be high and Spurs would have to fight off a lot of competition. 

Other options, who should also be looked at include Nikola Milenkovic, Edmond Tapsoba, Roger Ibanez and Joachim Andersen. 

Andersen, Milenkovic and Ibanez would be the cheaper choices but Tapsoba really does look like a top player. At 6ft 3, he is an imposing figure who is also a brilliant dribbler completing 0.6 per game but also a very good passer with a 90% pass accuracy per game (SofaScore). 

Milenkovic has been tracked by Spurs for a while, according to Alasdair Gold. He’s a huge and aggressive defender who is ready for the step up and with one year left on his deal, might just be a bargain to keep an eye on. 

Some may argue that Spurs don’t need a new central midfielder with the likes of Skipp coming back however I strongly believe that Tottenham do. 

Spurs’ midfield is missing something, it often feels immobile lacks the basics being done to a high standard.

Tottenham often struggled to play out from the back and there was always a disconnect between defence and midfield. Spurs never really played through the middle last season. 

A forward-thinking progressive passer could help this, someone who can play next to Hojbjerg and feed the likes of Ndombele and Lo Celso. A player similar to Jorginho of Chelsea, Michael Carrick of United or Toni Kroos for Madrid, an upgrade on Harry Winks. 

The perfect man is Marcelo Brozovic. He does this role perfectly and his future at Inter Milan is still undecided. He’s aggressive in the middle of the park and does the basics very well with his passing accuracy being very high at 90% (SofaScore). He plays quick and progressive passes which is something Tottenham need. 

Another, maybe a more achievable option is Miralem Pjanic. A more press resistant player who is very hard to get the ball off.

He’s a bit older than Brozovic but looks like he might be available on a free and with Fabio Paratici being the master of free transfers, gives me slight optimism over this deal. Paratici knows him well from his time at Juventus and I feel he’s a great alternative to Brozovic. 

Pjanic made 104.01 passes per 90 in La Liga last season and made 8.01 progressive passes per 90, which is outstanding (Fbref). A player like this who can keep our play ticking and move Spurs up the pitch quickly could be vital. 

Right-back looks sorted with Takehiro Tomisayu seemingly coming in and Spurs hoping for a Matt Doherty revival as a wing-back with Tomiyasu able to cover in a four but also start as one of the centre backs in a three.

If Spurs were looking for other options Riddle Baku, Tariq Lamptey and Max Aarons would be decent choices. 

A right-winger is also maybe a position of need, Lamela and Lucas Moura could be on their way out and with Gareth Bale returning to Real Madrid, Spurs may look for another option. 

Pedro Neto is the obvious choice. Nuno loves him, Wolves have just signed another winger in Trincao, he’s a Mendes client- it just sounds right, doesn’t it? 

It’s no secret that Neto is a top player but beyond him, I really like Matheus Pereira. He’s an interesting player who would be a much cheaper option than Pedro Neto and could fill two roles at once- as he can play as an attacking midfielder as well as a right-winger. 

In terms of left-wingers, Spurs aren’t in desperate need but it might not be the worst idea to have some cover for Son. Marcus Thuram and Mikkel Damsgaard are two really good viable options with Damsgaard, in particular, impressing at Euro 2020.

In an attacking midfield role, I think Spurs are doing alright with Lo Celso and Ndombele yet to reach their full potential. However, if either of these players were to leave, Daichi Kamada would be a really good signing. Other targets should include Houssem Aouar, Pedro Gonçalves and Lucas Paquetá. 

Further up the pitch, Spurs need a striker regardless of whether Kane leaves, to replace Carlos Vinicius.

Spurs have wasted time and money with strikers over the last 5 years as they’ve had to sit on the bench and have not been at a high enough standard.

This is understandable as Kane is the best around and it’s hard to match his high quality but when strikers aren’t playing, it’s very hard to gain goalscoring momentum so when they have come in they’ve struggled. Vinicius and Janssen are victims of this.

A different path to go down is someone nearer to Kane’s level who can play with him and potentially replace him. Players who come into this category are Duvan Zapata, Danny Ings and Dusan Vlahovic.

Vlahovic is the standout name who is probably the most similar to Kane amongst those being very physical and intelligent. But he won’t come cheap and should probably only be looked at if Kane leaves. 

Another route that could be useful is looking to a younger, more obscure and someone who would be happy to have limited game time to learn from the rest of the squad. Adam Hlozek fits the criteria.

The young man at, 18-years-old bagged 15 goals from 19 games last season for Sparta Prague (TransferMarkt), also getting 8 assists. He’s really a top talent who’d come in at low risk with a decent sell on value. 

In my opinion, Danny Ings is a really good choice to have, his Premier League record speaks for itself and could actually compliment Kane quite well, potentially playing them together in a 3-5-2 or 4-4-2. 

Any of these players mentioned would be good acquisitions for Tottenham, I have faith in Paratici to do the right thing but problem areas need resolving, now.

Spurs can’t afford to wait any longer in problematic areas and go through another season of struggles in the same old positions.

Have something to tell us about this article?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.