Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tottenham cannot afford to stand still this summer

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 6 Jul 2017


Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino must be clever in the transfer market this summer

The last couple of seasons have been highly encouraging for everybody connected with Tottenham Hotspur. The team from north London have finished third and second place in the Premier League.

Next season they will likely be title challengers once more. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s team cannot afford to stand still. They were good last season, but not quite good enough to win the title.

It will be even more difficult to challenge for the English top-flight title this time around. By the time the league campaign kicks-off, most of their top seven rivals will have far stronger squads than last season.

Must add depth to their squad

Tottenham have had problems juggling their Premier League campaign and European commitments in the past few seasons.

Understandably, Pochettino has been keen to field his strongest team in most Premier League games, as they are as good as any team in the league on their day. Despite resting players for European games and rotating his squad, his top players looked jaded at times during the season.

The truth is that Spurs do not have enough strength in depth to sustain a challenge on two fronts. Their backup players are nowhere near good enough.

However, they are in a catch 22 situation. They want to add depth to their squad, but high calibre players will not be happy to join only to sit on the bench for much of the campaign. They want regular first team football.

Top strikers would not join Spurs simply because Harry Kane is undisputed first choice and probably will be for the foreseeable future at White Hart Lane. Kane’s backup at Spurs last season, Vincent Janssen struggled for minutes and flopped in England.

He was always on a hiding to nothing signing for Tottenham. The Dutch international knew Kane was an immovable object from the team. It was a similar case for the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou too.

Need better buys than last summer

Last summer was a disaster for Tottenham in the transfer market. The aforementioned Janssen, Sissoko and N’Koudou flopped worse than a jellyfish on a mattress. Some will say they did not see much pitch time, but when they did, they were not exactly impressive.

The deadline day signing of Sissoko was a bizarre one for me. The French international looked set to join Everton before Spurs nipped in and signed him from Newcastle for £30million.

The move came out of nowhere really and felt like a desperate final move just to get a signing in on deadline day. Signing Sissoko seemed unnecessary. Tottenham have strong midfield and attacking midfield options.

If I was a Tottenham fan I would much rather see Josh Onomah or Harry Winks on the pitch than Sissoko. Janssen’s struggles have been well documented, while N’Koudou was always going to struggle to get in the team ahead of the likes of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Son Heung-Min.

This summer Pochettino must be shrewder in the transfer market. Spurs are currently reportedly tracking the likes of Ben Gibson of Middlesbrough and Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley.

Both are decent young-ish players, but Spurs are in need of the finished article now. Gibson and Barkley are still developing and Pochettino has done well with similar players. Whether the pair would really add anything to the Tottenham squad is highly questionable.

Next season a major dogfight for the title

The race for the Premier League title next season promises to be even tougher than last season. Spurs have come close to winning the title in the last few seasons and are odds of 10/1 to be crowned champions in the new campaign.

Tottenham defied the odds last season by competing for the title, despite a poor summer of transfer dealing. However, the north London club needs to strengthen if they are to continue to compete with the teams at the top of the Premier League table.

If they do not, then they are in major danger of regressing next season and may never get back to the heights of challenging for the Premier League title again.

Does Tottenham need to strengthen their squad to challenge for the title?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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