Tottenham winter window transfer manifesto for top four bid
Matt Haynes | November 18, 2015
Tottenham, after a slightly turbulent start to the Premier League season, seem settled and currently in fifth are perfectly primed to challenge in the second half of the campaign if they can maintain a similar form for the next couple of months.
As result, with the club currently priced by Coral at 5/4 for a top four finish this term, we suggest how they might shape their winter window philosophy with chairman Daniel Levy likely to splash the cash once more.
More midfield magic
One of the best things that Mauricio Pochettino did in the summer was streamline his squad considerably. They had a number of players, particularly in midfield who were average at best and, who quite simply didn’t fit the manager’s philosophy of pressing football, with a quick transition between defence and attack.
Consequently, out went Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Benjamin Stambouli and Aaron Lennon, which, as a result gave more confidence to Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb, despite the latter picking up an injury.
As a result, they look more cohesive. Mousa Dembele looks like a new player of late, while Erik Lamela, who arrived in the club’s £100m splurge two summers ago looks like a new signing, rejuvenated after a year working under compatriot Pochettino. However, perhaps the breakthrough player is new England international Dele Ali, who has hit heights unparalleled, becoming one of the stars of the season so far.
Nothing really needs to be said about Christian Eriksen. He just, well, does what he does. No fuss, no hassle, he simply makes them tick. What they really need, if Pochettino, working closely with Levy can identify one in January, is another spark. Chelsea have Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Oscar, who showed last season that when they are all on form, make a team virtually unplayable.
Fierce rivals Arsenal have Mesut Ozil and Alex Sanchez, who are just two of their impressive quintet of midfielders who change games. Often there are few options available in January, for the right price, though there have been instances in the past where there have been deals to be made. Luis Suarez arrived at Liverpool in January 2011 while Philippe Coutinho made the same switch in 2013 so there are astute acquisitions out there.
Prior to the start of the campaign, a case could have been made for the identification of a more defensive-minded midfielder, though a tactical masterstroke from Pochettino has seen him convert Eric Dier from a defender to slot him seamlessly into this role and to great effect.
Add an attacker
While they brought in youngster Clinton N’Jie in the summer from Lyon, who has been injured for a period since his switch to White Hart Lane, he like fellow recruit Son Heung-Min, who has fared more successfully, though also been injured operate mainly on the wing.
Whether Levy returns with another bid for Saido Berahino in January remains to be seen, having had three bids rejected in the summer, however, with just three goals in 10 Premier League appearances so far this term, there may be an unwillingness to meet West Bromwich Albion’s non-negotiable price tag of £25m and as a result, it may be decided there is better value to be had elsewhere, especially taking into account the player’s questionable attitude.
It leaves Harry Kane, who, understandably took a few weeks to get back into form following his prolific scoring exploits last season after a summer on international duty as their solitary, main striker.
What Pochettino will be wary of doing is bringing someone in just for the sake of it and also signing a player who will disrupt the equilibrium. It is no secret that he likes Jay Rodriguez, who he managed at Southampton, however, again, the 26-year-old is not an out-and-out striker and the Saints’ staunch refusal to sell any more players is a sticking point.
Charlie Austin is a viable option, though it is unlikely that he would want to play second-fiddle to Kane, while there is also the debate as to whether he is good enough to play for a side challenging for the to four.
It is an intriguing conundrum for Spurs, however, for perhaps the first time in a number of years, they encouragingly don’t need to strengthen in defence, after the arrival of Toby Alderweireld in the summer, who is a class act, creating a firm foundation next to compatriot Jan Vertonghen.
There have been concerns over the quality of Kyle Walker and this could be one area that warrants strengthening at the end of the campaign, nevertheless, they did bring in Kieran Trippier, who should be given a chance. Kevin Wimmer is another promising new recruit who offers cover in the middle along with Argentinian Federico Fazio.
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