A fifth paced finish in a transitional season under the new Head Coach, Mauricio Pochettino, represents an acceptable 2014-15 season for Tottenham Hotspur. Contrary to what journalists believe, most Tottenham fans, at the start of the season, did not believe that the top-four places were an attainable target for the Club, in what was going to be another transitional season. However, the focus next season will be on breaking in to that promise land, the top four spots. To do that, there can be no doubt that changes to the Club’s playing squad this summer are necessary.
Tottenham are in a nice position given that they have an excellent academy with plenty of young players ready to make the major step up to the first-team. For example, players like Alex Pritchard, Tom Carroll, Luke McGee and Milos Veljikovic are all expected to make the step up next season. However, Tottenham need more than just young bright sparks from the academy to make the difference. They need more capable and consistent experienced players. To add to that they need more quality in key areas. There can be little doubt that reinforcement is needed to the centre-back and centre-forward positions. This season, the Club has been too heavily reliant on Harry Kane, with both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado failing to offer any contribution to support our young breakthrough striker. Furthermore, Tottenham have one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League. Federico Fazio, Vlad Chiriches and Younes Kaboul have all failed to make a positive impression this season, and to see all three leave this summer would be no major surprise. Kevin Wimmer, a 22 year-old centre back from FC Koln, has already been signed, but a more experienced right sided centre-back is definitely needed to give the Club some much needed solidity next season. Tottenham have also looked deprived of pace this season, so a rapid winger may be a beneficial signing. An experienced central midfielder with leadership qualities should also be on the agenda.
This is not going to be the sort of blogpost that throws out names that I believe would be good signings for the Club…that is the job of the scouts. However, the names that we have been linked with in recent weeks show that the Club are targeting players in the positions that the fans feel need to be strengthened. This is a positive sign. The Club also seem to have a strategy in this transfer window, this is something that cannot always be said about Tottenham in recent years. They have taken an approach of buying young and hungry players who are able to fit into Pochettino’s high-pressing style. Links to player like Danny Ings, Kieran Trippier and James McCarthy have shown this. This approach hopefully will lead to Tottenham avoiding the mistakes of the past, most notably in 2013, and catching up with the top four teams.
However, as well as new signings, a clear-out is also needed. Tottenham have too many mediocre players who simply are not good enough to play for such a great Club. Messes Lennon, Chiriches, Kaboul, Capoue, Paulinho, Soldado and Adebayor will almost certainly leave the Club, if Daniel Levy can find buyers. Furthermore, there are question marks over the futures of players like Fazio, Stambouli, Townsend and Dembele. Seeing these players leave the Club would leave no Tottenham fan too upset, although many would be frustrated at seeing Dembele leave, believing him to be an undervalued member of the squad. However, trimming down the squad whilst selling players who do not have enough quality to help to fulfil the Club’s ambitions, would be hugely beneficial for Tottenham in the long-run. On the other hand it is imperative that the Club keep hold of their main assets like Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris. To lose these players with genuine quality would hugely derail the Club from achieving their aims in the future.
Overall, it is likely to be a busy summer of in’s and out’s at White Hart Lane. The Club have a clear strategy and must back the manager financially to have any chance of making the top-four next season. Failure to do so would set the Club back once more.
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