It’s done. It’s dusted. It’s finally finished, and it’s time to put up or shut up for Spurs. Spurs’ new stadium has been at the forefront of the club’s mind for the past handful of years, and it’s finally time to regroup, for what lies ahead. Now that the stadium is out of the way, the club and its executives must analyze Spurs’ transfer deals and positions that require reinforcements. Everyone that follows the Premier League relatively closely knows that Daniel Levy, the Chairman and purse holder for Spurs, is widely regarded as a hardnosed businessman unwilling to allow the club to venture into murky financial waters. With that being said, a stadium with a giant price tag looms over the club, and it will be up to some savvy transfers and good business tactics to ensure financial stability and club results. The previous two transfer windows saw Spurs go without signing a single player, and the club actually lost a solid midfield staple, Mousa Dembélé to China in the January window. The lack of transfers in the previous two windows was a huge risk that has seemingly paid off (barely). The club have made the top 4 and guaranteed themselves Champions League football (and money) next year. Additionally, the team advanced to the Final of this year’s edition, and they were on the cusp of elimination in the group stage! However, it hasn’t been all sunshine and roses following the departure of Dembélé. The results thereafter showed that the loss of Dembélé created a huge void in midfield that left Pochettino with a lack of quality choices. Other players have had drops in form, namely Eric Dier, Kieran Trippier, Danny Rose, Victor Wanyama, among others.
I don’t pretend to know the inner workings of the club, nor the detailed financial situation, so I won’t delve too deeply into that aspect of things. However, advancing through to the final of the Champions League will certainly inject much needed cash flow, some of which will likely be set-aside for transfers this summer.
The club is at a crossroads for a few players: namely Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane, and Dele Alli (within the next 2 years). Big decisions will need to be made regarding each of their futures and what the club’s goals are for the next few seasons. Fending off interest for Harry Kane should be a priority this summer and shouldn’t be too much of an issue (Spurs are asking €150M). Alli is under contract until 2024, but could draw offers in transfer windows starting next summer and thereafter.
Three most important positions the club need to strengthen before the beginning of next season:
Defensive Midfield: The largest gap in the Spurs squad at the moment is in the defensive midfield position. My ideal transfer for this spot is Wilfred Ndidi. At 22, Ndidi is a young, strong, and solid holding midfield player that has shown he can score from outside the area given the chance. While he just signed a new contract until 2024, he would still be available for around €50M and will have plenty of top years ahead of him. Given his qualities, he would walk into the team and would be a good complement to Mousa Sissoko
Attacking Midfield: With Eriksen seemingly keen to leave either this summer or next, Spurs should be ready to find a replacement. Keeping in mind budgetary confinements, the ideal replacement is James Rodriguez. Hear me out: James is headed back to Madrid to a team that is likely ready to cut ties. He could be available (this summer only!) for around €40M. Madrid need to rebuild and cut their wage bill for incoming stars. If there was ever a time to sign him, it’s now. Remember, Bayern has a chance to sign him permanently for €38M this summer and declined. A move to a club like Tottenham could revive his career and bode well for both team and player.
Fullback: This position has had its ups and downs recently for Spurs. Danny Rose looks a shade of his former self, and rarely makes the starting XI in my eyes. Kieran Trippier could leave this summer and hasn’t performed recently. Ben Davies is a solid bench player or fill in for injuries. The ideal replacement here is Matt Doherty. He has come off an excellent season with Wolves and is ready to take the next step. He has pace, height, crossing ability, and is a decent defender. Spurs could seal the deal for around €25M
To sum this all up, Spurs have a good chance of maintaining a top 4 spot next season, but without significant further investment, a chance to win the league will slowly drift further away. Retaining their star players (Kane, Eriksen, Alli, etc.) will be key if they want to consistently challenge for the top 4 and trophies. Losing these players will almost certainly see them drop down the standings without sufficient replacements coming into the team.
This summer poses the perfect chance for the club to draw players to the allure of the club; Champions League finalists 2019, Champions League for 2019-2020, brand new, world class stadium, and a top 5 coach in the world. This is their chance to sign players needed to take the next step towards trophies and glory. COYS!
Author: Dillon Lucas, Spurs fan and Premier League junkie. If you're reading this, you're likely a junkie too.