It is well documented by now, Tottenham Hotspur completely rebuilt their squad two years ago after the departure of Gareth Bale. They brought in seven players with the money earned from that transfer and at this point in time, three have already been sold, one is all but gone, one has adapted and is a key member of the squad, and the other two have been slightly less impressive thus far. There was an expected purge coming from the club this summer, as the new direction seemed to focus on youth and speed. So far, getting rid of the players that don’t fit that plan has gone well. Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches, Younes Kaboul, Paulinho, Benjamin Stambouli, and Lewis Holtby have all been sold to make way for the new Tottenham side. However, it is now eight days before the season and only three signings: Toby Alderweireld, Kieran Trippier, and Kevin Wimmer, have been made. I love every one of these signings but they all have something in common, they are all defenders. The back four was well below par last season there is no way around that. However, there is a bit more work to be done rather than purchase three defenders and call it a day.
Inevitably, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado will be sold. Much like the players listed above, these two served little to no purpose in last years Pochettino side. Personally, I believe their negative impacts on the squad go even deeper than just their less than stellar performances. Both are over 30 years of age and seem to carry themselves with an attitude of not wanting to be at the club. Seeing a young striker like Saido Berahino or Charlie Austin come in would be huge for the club going forward. Both players have Premier League experience which will be important for their integration into the squad. If there is one thing that we’ve learned in the past, it is better for players with Premier League experience to come in to the club rather than take a gamble on players without Premier League experience.
Another area that concerns me is on the wings. I’m not positive that the two men manning those positions are capable of performing at the levels they need to be performing at. Pochettino uses the wings quite a bit with his system and since there are only three true options, that could cause some depth problems. It could be my Spurs roots talking, but I try to believe that Chadli and Lamela will perform well this campaign. They have both had two seasons to adapt to the Premier League and will look to have breakout seasons under Pochettino where they are now more comfortable playing in his system. Even if what I predicted was true, they still need help. With Aaron Lennon being loaned last winter and almost certain for departure this window, the only other option is Andros Townsend. Townsend is not an option I’d be okay with seeing feature on a regular basis if Chadli or Lamela picked up an injury. One if not two wingers need to be purchased by the club in order for there to be a satisfactory amount of players at that position. The problem is, who do you bring in on such short notice. A Kevin Mirallas for Aaron Lennon swap isn’t the worst idea since Mirallas has a few seasons of Premier League experience and can play as well. I’m always skeptical about unproven, foreign players with Tottenham, especially of late. A Kevin Mirallas swap would be the best option since there isn’t too, too much time left in the transfer window.
The final place where improvement could help Spurs is in the Central Midfield. Even if the starting midfield is set with Bentaleb and Mason, there isn’t too much behind that besides Dele Alli, Tom Carroll, and Pochettino’s new experiment at Defensive-Mid, Eric Dier. James McCarthy would be the perfect signing for Tottenham Hotspur as he fits the mold for this team. If he were to be signed, you would think he’d start over Ryan Mason alongside Nabil Bentaleb. I believe that McCarthy and Bentaleb would play well together and provide some much needed stability in front of the back four.
There are moves that can turn Spurs into a genuine top four contender. What I am not a fan of is Levy waiting until late to sign players again. This season, it is imperative to get off to a good start because the fixture list is in our favor right away. The defeats to far lesser teams cannot happen and will not happen if the squad is strengthened before the summer window is closed. As a rule though, it would be great if players could be signed earlier in the summer that way they can become integrated with the squad by the time the season starts.
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