Opinion: My honest review of Tottenham’s summer transfer window

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Fabio Paratici
Filippo Alfero - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

My initial reaction is definitely a positive one. I feel as though some fans still compare Spurs to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, etc and that just is not realistic. We were on a budget this summer and have no major European football to speak of.

Bringing in big names was always going to be tough, which we saw when Jules Kounde wasn’t keen on coming due to a lack of Champions League football. We have to assess the transfer window within the realms of what was actually possible.

Having said that, it was by no means perfect and there were other signings that could have, and arguably needed to, be made. Let’s go through it player by player and position by position to cover all bases.

The most notable two pieces of business away from sales and purchases involved Harry Kane and Heung-min Son. We retained the former and we signed the latter to a new contract. That was always going to be huge when it comes to our summer and our subsequent season.

Those two represented the vast majority of our goals last season and, seeing as we didn’t sign any strikers, keeping them was the bare minimum. Unfortunately, we did lose the backup goals of Carlos Vinicius and the 16 scored by Gareth Bale from right-wing. That is a major loss.

We did not bring in a new Kane backup and we did not replace those Bale goals. Were they the biggest goals, not really, but they were goals we needed in smaller games amidst squad rotation. The likes of Moura and Bergwijn will really have to step up and fill the void.

I think the lack of a new striker is the biggest disappointment for me. Having an injury-prone Kane as the only centre-forward is poor. We have been bitten by that lack of planning ahead before. Hopefully, he can remain injury-free and it won’t be as much of a problem.

I also realise that Son is pretty much considered a striker these days, but the same logic applies seeing as we didn’t buy a backup for him either. Bryan Gil came in but more as an Erik Lamela replacement than someone to start on the left week-in week-out.

Talking of Lamela, one large success this summer was clearing out the deadwood. Rose and Gazzaniga left on a free, Aurier’s contract was mutually terminated, while Alderweireld, Lamela, Hart, and Sissoko were all sold. Carter-Vickers also headed out minutes before the Scottish deadline close. That’s funds and wages.

Unfortunately, while the likes of Doherty and Ndombele should have joined them on that list, if the deals weren’t there to make a sensible sale, there wasn’t much Tottenham could do about it. You can’t always sell everyone, even if you need a huge clearout.

All-in-all, clearing out 70% of the deadwood represents a good window of sales for Tottenham, while also bringing the average age of the squad down. Only Hugo Lloris is over the age of 30 now. That’s amazing for the future!

So, who did we replace them with? Lamela was replaced by Bryan Gil, a talented 20-year-old dribbler. Toby was succeeded by Cristian Romero, a talented young centre-back. Joe Hart was replaced by Pierluigi Gollini, an up-and-coming keeper. Spurs also signed Emerson Royal.

Coming into the window, signing a new centre-back and a new right-back were two of the biggest boxes to tick. We did that, while also snapping up a new keeper and a really promising talent in Gil. As isolated signings, they are all superb pieces of work from Paratici and co.

Some would argue we needed another centre-back, but the truth is Davinson Sanchez has played himself into contention in recent weeks and Nuno is surely willing to give him a go this season as a result. In terms of defence, I think all the gaps were filled, and filled well.

However, Spurs also needed a new creative midfielder or at least some kind of CM to replace Moussa Sissoko. I suspect Ndombele’s lack of sale scuppered that. I only hope that Hojbjerg and Skipp can remain injury-free, as they look irreplaceable at the moment.

We have to remember that Skipp and Sessegnon were not here last season either, so are effectively like new squad signings. Some may scoff at that, but it’s a fact. They are young and not necessarily game-changers, but they are incredible additions at no further cost.

So, what of the window as a whole? I would say it all went pretty well. Considering the limited budget, lack of Champions League or even Europa League, with a new manager and lots of deadwood to shift, Tottenham did well.

The window simply cannot be classed above ‘good’ because we are left with a glaring lack of a backup striker and creative spark in midfield. Those two signings would have turned a good window into a world-class one, but you are rarely able to tick every box on a budget.

Spurs need to get lucky with Kane and Son staying fit. They also need one of Ndombele or Lo Celso to step up and become that creative force. If both things happen, the new signings can only make Tottenham stronger, in my opinion.

I suppose the best way to judge a transfer window is by how confident you feel in the squad before and after. I am definitely more excited by the post-window squad and am confident we will see steps forward on the pitch, even if that doesn’t mean top four or a trophy.

Would I have liked to see Vlahovic or Martinez? So much! Would a deadline say move for Traore have strengthened us, of course. Damsgaard, Aouar, Kounde, any number of those would have been amazing. But Spurs have done good work and there are more windows to come in the future.

In conclusion, a good window. 7.5/10. I can’t wait to see Romero filter into the first team and watch the improvements in fitness under Nuno. Let’s stay positive, get behind the team, support the new players and enjoy the return of football.

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