Looking at Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

We are now pretty deep into the summer transfer window and Spurs are yet to sign anyone, while their rivals are all busy bolstering their squads. They have lost right-back Kyle Walker, who joined Man City in a £45 million deal, and have targeted Ricardo Pereira as a replacement, but Porto are playing hardball. Argentinean youngster Juan Foyth is close to joining, but he will not be a first teamer. Meanwhile, the other clubs in last season’s top six are all spending extravagant sums on leading stars at the peak of their powers. Given Spurs’ inactivity, how worried should Tottenham fans be?

The short answer is, not very worried at all. Of all the clubs in last season’s top six, runners-up Tottenham were always the team that needed the least investment. Even Chelsea, who pipped Spurs to the title, got by with a strong core that was carrying some pretty average players. Tottenham, meanwhile, had a magnificent starting 11, and this is a young team that is constantly improving. Third in 2015-16, second last season, they could well win it next season and all they really have to do is keep the core of the side together.

The sale of Walker might set alarm bells ringing, but it is not actually all that catastrophic. Walker is 27 and wanted to leave, and the club was handsomely compensated for his loss. Pep Guardiola is intent on assembling as many full-backs as money can buy and good luck to him. In Kieran Trippier they have a ready-made replacement, and he is a year younger. Trippier has deputised so well for Walker that he has broken into the England set-up and he would have had a legitimate case for usurping Walker next season anyway. He destroyed Arsenal in the 2-0 victory towards the end of last season and seems to get better all the time. He deserves a run in the first team, and Tottenham are likely to sign the promising Perreira to challenge him for a place in the starting 11. The club has also fended off Guardiola’s overtures for Danny Rose, so letting them have Walker is not the end of the world. Walker is heavily reliant on his pace and that will start to fade in a few years anyway.

There are far bigger jewels to keep at the club and Tottenham seem to have done that without any trouble. They have so far resisted Man Utd’s longing glances at Eric Dier, and their two real superstars are going nowhere.

Spurs’ title challenge next season was never going to be led by Walker, but by Harry Kane and Dele Alli. There is no doubt that these are the two most valuable players in the Premiership and Tottenham have done well to secure their loyalty. Then there is the core to the side: Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Dier, Victor Wanyama and Moussa Dembele. No team in the league is as strong down its core as Tottenham. They were never in need of a big summer overhaul. The longer these players play with one another, the better they will gel and the more effective they will be.

Make no mistake – even with the pressure of adapting to a new stadium next season – Tottenham are in with a great chance of winning the title. As Guardiola continues to splash the cash the odds on City shorten and they are the clear favourites. Spurs are all the way out at 10/1, fourth favourites behind City, Chelsea and Utd. They are criminally underrated by the bookmakers when you consider how strong the team is, and you could make some good money by backing them. At 10/1 you could go each-way and still make a hefty profit if they finish in the top three. City, Chelsea and Utd will keep spending, as will Arsenal and Liverpool, but Tottenham already have a fabulously talented group of players. New signings take time to settle in and that can damage a team’s results in the early season. Spurs will face no such worries and can pick up where they left off: on song and winning games. Walker may well have made a massive mistake.

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