Tottenham Hotspur have failed to strengthen the side ahead of the new season, instead selling off a prize asset to Manchester City.
The message from the club is that they’re content with their options, but is their frugal approach complacency in assuming they can still challenge without improving? Or is it down to incompetence, failing to sign their targets?
Spurs keen to avoid signing expensive flops again
Tottenham are certainly worried about making a marquee signing after their two biggest buys of last summer were big disappointments. The Londoners paid £19m to sign AZ Alkmaar striker Vincent Janssen, but the 23-year-old managed just two goals in 27 Premier League appearances. Signed as cover for Harry Kane, Janssen made just seven starts in the top flight and saw just two of his overall total of six goals coming from open play.
As for Moussa Sissoko, his move from Newcastle seems to have been the most damaging. Tottenham paid £30m to sign the French international on deadline day, having been impressed by his performances in the European Championships. However, manager Mauricio Pochettino was left red-faced after his form in the summer tournament turned out to be a false dawn and Sissoko regressed to his old ways. He made just eight Premier League starts and has yet to score for Spurs.
Who have Tottenham been linked with?
Surprisingly, Everton’s Ross Barkley is a player who continues to be linked with Spurs. Despite questions about his work rate and decision-making, let alone criticisms of being selfish in possession, Pochettino is believed to be keen on the England international. Barkley would certainly make a good impact player given his eye for goal and dribbling abilities, but it’s hard to see Tottenham meeting Everton’s reported £40m asking price given he will be free in 12 months.
Despite selling Kyle Walker to Manchester City, a defender regarded as the best in his position in the Premier League in the last 24 months, Tottenham haven’t opted to sign a replacement. The Londoners are placing their trust in his deputy Kieran Trippier, and even the manager admitted struggles trying to bring people in. “We are a little bit behind but working hard to sign some players who can help us and bring some energy, and make us more competitive,” said Pochettino.
“Unless we can find a player who would make a difference he would rather give one of our academy players a chance, so that’s regardless of the financing of the stadium,” said Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. Such quotes are contrasting and paint the picture that Spurs might have clashing philosophies over how to take the club forward.
It was expected they would keep the spending down to a minimum given the lucrative stadium purchase, but Pochettino will have wanted to add to his side given how close they’ve come to the Premier League title in the last two seasons. Tottenham are 1/1 to finish outside of the top-four next season, with their title rivals all bolstering their squads around them.
What will happen to Spurs?
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