Opinion: Tottenham’s striker search should not spell the end of Richarlison

Recent reports are indicating that Spurs could go on a massive spending spree this summer as the search for an idealistic Harry Kane replacement continues.

Links and transfer rumours have connected Ange Postecoglou’s side with the likes of Ivan Toney (GiveMeSport), Dusan Vlahovic (TV Play), and Lois Openda (The Sunday Mirror 10/12; page 67), amongst others. Most fans would be hard-pressed to tell you that these options sound anything short of extremely enticing.

Considering the productivity Postecoglou’s front line has generated, despite injury, inconsistency, and a swathe of injuries, supporters can only dream of what he might do with one of these highly-rated options.

However, despite the excitement around a big-money striker “replacement,” we mustn’t neglect the fact that Tottenham’s current number nine has put out exceptional numbers this season, and losing him in the wake of incoming talent would be a costly mistake.

If you take a look around the rest of Europe, what do you see? Every top side, which Spurs envision themselves becoming, has a robust rotation of top attackers. City have Erling Haaland, Jeremy Doku, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Julian Alvarez, and Oscar Bobb. Liverpool have Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez, Luis Diaz, Cody Gakpo, and Diogo Jota. That’s just amongst English sides, and the list of other clubs with five-plus options across the front line is extensive.

At Tottenham, the current state of affairs allows Ange to employ the services of Son Heung-min, Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski, Brennan Johnson, and Timo Werner; a formidable attack, nonetheless, but there are limitations and other factors which could make for uncertainty if just one player becomes unavailable.

Looking ahead, here’s a list of factors to monitor across the coming months, the results of which might suggest that Richarlison should stay in North London, even if Spurs are able to acquire the services of players like Toney, Vlahovic, or Openda.

Credit: Ollie Watkins (@watkinsstudio)

Timo Werner’s uncertain future

Since his return to Premier League action this January, joining Tottenham on loan from Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, Timo Werner’s performances have been decent. He got into the action right away, joining the club on January 9 and playing his first game in Lilywhite just five days later.

Starting in five of seven games since then, Werner’s picked up two goals and two assists across 422 minutes of play, netting roughly one goal contribution every 106 minutes, or 1.17 games (Transfermarkt).

It’s likely that most fans would contend those numbers are acceptable, especially considering the struggles Werner had been having with Leipzig, collecting just two goals and one assist in 14 games across all competitions; He’s produced beyond those numbers in just seven games with Spurs (Transfermarkt).

Despite the well-received performances, however, it’s too early into his loan spell to tell if Tottenham will be convinced to activate the buy-option clause in his contract. As The Athletic report, the fee is believed to sit in the region of €15-20m (£12.8-17m).

With the player’s future still up in the air – as is (traditionally) the consistency of his performances – it’s more likely that Tottenham will want to hold onto the services of Richarlison for the time being.

The legacy of this season’s injury crisis

Perhaps the worst the club has experienced in years, the absentee list during the months of November and December was absurd. Without the likes of crucial players like James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, and Cristian Romero, the team were looking quite worse for wear.

Luckily, the squad was able to pull out a couple of wins with the help of their starting front line. If any of the front three had been roped into the injury list for an extended period, however, it could’ve been a disastrous two months of football.

Given the need for solid backups across all areas of the pitch, and considering the possibility of more frequent games next season if Spurs qualify for European football at the end of this one, it will be crucial to hold onto players like Richarlison who can come in and provide support when called upon, or when numbers are low.

Manor Solomon’s untested ability

One of the unfortunate faces to be found amongst the injured, and from a very early point in the season, Manor Solomon’s potential at Spurs is still largely untapped and unknown.

The 24-year-old is still undefeated in a Spurs uniform with two assists across five appearances, and he’s only played 198 minutes for the North London club, just a little over two 90-minute games (Transfermarkt).

Solomon has now missed 23 matches of professional football and, as with any long-term injury, it’s unclear what type of player he’ll be when he comes back into the mix (Transfermarkt).

For this reason, it may be beneficial to hold onto Richarlison as another left-wing option if, unfortunately, Solomon were to have a slow start upon returning to the squad.

Son’s increasing age

It’s a tough reality for many Spurs fans to face, but the club’s captain Son Heung-min, who will be turning 32 this July, isn’t getting any younger (Transfermarkt).

His current productivity speaks to his immense ability, with 22 G/A in 24 Premier League matches this season (Transfermarkt). However, who knows how long the Korean footballer will be able to keep up those numbers?

Son’s time at Tottenham may be wrapping up in the next few seasons, as he hangs onto his spot amidst a wave of youth talent taking over the club he’s been at since 2015. Richarlison, on the other hand, is still just 26 years old, with plenty of time to prove that he can be a crucial facet of Ange’s attack.

Keep up to date with all the latest Tottenham news and opinion by following SpursWeb’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Related Topics

Have something to tell us about this article? Let us know