With another Premier League season now in the history books it’s now time to look at what business has be done and what business is likely to be done over the next couple of months. Let’s look at the ins and outs plus the hopeful signings and departures that will take place at Tottenham Hotspur between now and September 1st.
It will be simpler to breakdown the squad into positions, Goalkeepers, Defenders etc so without further ado here goes:
Hugo Lloris – Depending on what and where you read is either staying for at least another season or going to Manchester United. Does he have a Champions League clause in his contract? different sources tell you different things but I think I’m led to believe that this isn’t the case so ultimately whether or not Lloris goes depends on whether David De Gea goes to Real Madrid this Summer. If this does happen then this will kickstart the Goalkeeper transfer cycle, if Lloris does end up going to Old Trafford this will be particularly frustrating as we will continue to be seen as a “selling club” in the eyes of fans and pundits alike. The only positive you could take if any is that I’m sure Daniel Levy would get a good price for the French international but if we want to get back into the Top 4 then the sale of our best assets has to stop. If Lloris was to leave White Hart Lane then I would certainly be looking to get in a replacement No.1 and not have Michel Vorm as our leading Goalkeeper next season.
Michel Vorm – Have no issue with him being the back up Goalkeeper at the club but some of his performances showed that he needs to be exactly that and not the possible heir apparent to Hugo Lloris. Steady if not spectacular but will be useful for the Europa League and Cup games.
Third Choice Goalkeeper – With Brad Friedel announcing his retirement the third Goalkeeper spot opens up. Whether we were to buy someone else in remains to be seen but it doesn’t look like the most pressing concern at the moment.
Kyle Walker – A season slightly curtailed by injury with the England International only making 15 League starts last time around but he should go into the 2015/16 season as still the first choice Right Back at the club although I would expect a bit more competition next time around.
DeAndre Yedlin – Featured sparingly towards the end of the season after still trying to get up to full fitness and adpating to the English game after moving from MLS side Seattle Sounders. Will be looking to feature more next season and provide more competition for Walker.
Danny Rose – Made the Left Back spot his own after perceived competition from Ben Davies’s signature last Summer, can consider himself unlucky not to have featured in any of the England squad’s towards the end of the season. There has been rumblings of transfer talk to Manchester City or Chelsea but to be honest I think they were just slow news days. Another player we should be looking to hold onto this Summer but I don’t think there is any real danger of this not happening.
Ben Davies – Good enough but nothing spectacular in his first season at White Hart Lane, strangely had one of his better performances when played out of position against Burnley in that awful 0-0 at Turf Moor on Easter Sunday. Will play second fiddle to Danny Rose next season.
Jan Vertonghen – Not the best season from the Belgian International but it also says something about our Centre Backs when he was still the best one at the club. At times it looked like he didn’t want to be there but this is a player who has Champions League ambitions but not the performances to match it. His contract ends next season so this Summer could be an interesting one, do we keep him for another season and risk his contract expiring or do we cash in now to stop him walking away on a Bosman. Due to the lack of quality we have with our other Centre Backs, I think it’s worth hanging onto him and seeing where the contract talks go.
Fazio – Not the best debut season for Fazio but then again not the worst. At times the partnership with Vertonghen looked good but you always feel like there is a goal to be given away when he is playing. I think there would have to be a huge defensive upheaval this Summer for him to be shown the door but I hope we get another big name Centre Back in the Summer to build a strong partnership which we have certainly lacked lately. Happy to have Fazio in the squad but by no means should be guaranteed first team Football. If we don’t get another big name Centre Back in then the best we can hope for is that Fazio has a better second season than his first. Fingers crossed I guess.
Vlad Chiriches – The sooner we can get the Romanian out of White Hart Lane the better, if Fazio looks like he will always concede a goal then Chiriches looks like he will concede two. Daniel Levy will be looking to get close to the £7m he paid back in 2013 if Chiriches is to leave, I really hope Levy doesn’t drive to hard a bargain to enable the ex Steaua man’s departure out of the club. Just one of the many “Bale Money” flops that need to go this Summer.
Younes Kaboul – A season that started off with him being awarded the club Captaincy ended with him being frozen out by Mauricio Pochettino after a dressing room bust up. Hopefully this will be a case of not if but when he leaves this Summer, the only other danger is that he is prepared just to sit out his contract that expires at the end of the 2015/16 season. But whatever happens I don’t think he’ll be anywhere close to a matchday squad next season.
Eric Dier – A good first season for the England U-21 international. Think he will be better suited as a Centre Back than a Right Back but his versatility is certainly a key attribute, still a lot to learn for the youngster but there has been promising signs for the ex Sporting Lisbon Defender. Should be at the club for years to come as a promising future awaits, how far he goes is simply up to him.
Kevin Wimmer – New signing from FC Koln. With him coming into the club that now means we have 6 centre backs in the first team squad, this would surely intimate that either Chiriches or Kaboul (hopefully both) will be leaving this summer. Whether Wimmer will go into the team alongside Vertonghen will depend on what other Centre Back business is done this summer. Admittedly a bit of an unknown let’s hope his qualities are nearer Vertonghen’s then they are Chiriches.
Erik Lamela – This is going to be a key 3rd season at the club for the Argentinian, will he finally live up to the £30m price tag. There were some glimpses last season but still not enough to appease the fans on a week to week basis. If he can come good next season then I think he will finally shake the price tag off, if he doesn’t then I think he will have to be shown the exit door and filed under the category “flop”
Christian Eriksen – A good first half to the season and chipped in with a handful of late winning goals but form and fitness seemed to drop off in the second half. Eriksen recently said in the press that he is looking forward to another season at Spurs and not looking to go anywhere, I don’t think anyone has any reason not to believe that. Expect to see him playing off the striker on the first day of the 2015/16 season.
Nacer Chadli – A better second season than the first Chadli certainly made one of the wide forward positions his own, his versatility is key to the squad but there could be room for improvement in the wide forward slots. A decent squad player who will no doubt be useful next season but this is certainly one of the positions that could do with strengthening this Summer.
Nabil Bentaleb – A solid first full season at the club and his partnership in Centre Midfield with Ryan Mason was one of the few revelations of the season. He recently spoke out about wanting to sign a new contract, with PSG, Juventus and Arsenal supposedly sniffing around. Again it just seems to be paper talk on a slow news day, I can’t see his contract issues being an issue anytime soon but if he has as an amazing season then who knows if we’ll be able to quell the transfer talk which will no doubt come with it.
Ryan Mason – The second half of the midfield partnership with Bentaleb. Rounding off a fantastic debut season with an England appearance against Italy was nothing short of what Mason deserved. Having a centre midfield partnership with two players from the Academy is obviously something to be proud of. The only criticism if any is are we still a bit too soft in the middle of the pitch. I think if we are looking to strengthen the side then maybe a bit steel in the centre of the pitch could be desired especially in European matches.
Mousa Dembele – Never quite looks like the Dembele that was making and scoring goals for Fulham, great passer of the ball but his shooting seems to let him down. Would still keep him in the squad this summer but I think he will have to make do with moving down the pecking order if other names come in. Not the best Centre Midfielder at the club but by no means the worst.
Paulinho – Another of the “Bale Money” wastage. £17m for a player who looks nothing like the one that plays for Brazil, if someone could come in with an offer of £10m or so then I would say cut our losses and ship him out. There’s too much deadwood in the Centre of the park, certainly needs a bit of streamlining and this one of the players that could and should leave the club in the Summer.
Andros Townsend – Not a first team regular as such but still managed to make 35 appearances in all competitions, the only problem in that playing in a wide forward position he only scored 5 goals. Wouldn’t necessarily push him out the door but if we can get someone who is say better than Chadli to start each week then this would limit Townsend’s game time even further. Could be a case of if someone comes in then Townsend would be the one to go.
Etienne Capoue – See Paulinho, again more “Bale Money” wastage. Was another player who saw his game time cut after a row with Mauricio Pochettino. Wouldn’t be a big surprise if Capoue ended up at a Ligue 1 club this Summer, again the Centre Midfield area seems to be blotted with so much dross (not ‘dros) then Capoue certainly wouldn’t be missed
Benjamin Stambouli – Talking of Midfield dross, Stambouil hadn’t done too bad in his 12 league appearances last season but the point was he didn’t really do anything. Will probably get another season at the club at least but he hasn’t really set the world on fire. If Paulinho and Capoue were to leave I suppose there would be slightly more need for the Frenchmen. He gets a pass (just) for now.
Aaron Lennon – The third of the four squad players to be frozen out after the dressing room bust up with Pochettino. Actually looked pretty decent at Everton in the second half of the season during his loan spell. Wouldn’t be surprised if he went to Everton on a permanent deal, would be more surprised if he was in a Spurs shirt next season.
Harry Kane – I mean where do you start?. Under absolutely no circumstances must this man leave the club in the Summer, rumours of a £45m bid from Manchester United are abound but in all honesty I can’t see that happening. Without doubt this man is the undisputed number 1 striker at the club, let’s just hope we can get the personnel in to a) support Harry in his quest for more goals and b) we don’t just have to have Harry’s goals along dragging us to 5th or higher next season.
Roberto Soldado – Unfortunately as nice as a bloke as Soldado seems off the pitch, on the pitch he is a busted flush. After “that” miss against Fiorentina in the Europa League it pretty much showed that his Tottenham career is finished. For an outlay of £26m that goal return just hasn’t been enough, admittedly if we were to sell him now then we would be lucky to get £15m for him but I think it would be best for both parties if a return to Spain was sealed this Summer. If he was to stay then he certainly can’t be second choice next season there has to be at least one fresh face in the attack line as with himself and Adebayor in reserve then it looks like as if Harry Kane will be doing the lions share of the goalscoring again.
Emmanuel Adebayor – Now here’s the bad news, yesterday the Togo international said that he no plans to leave White Hart Lane and intends to see out the rest of his contract. When Adebayor says that you know that he has every intention to, he’ll be more than happy to collect his £150k a week or whatever is and just rot until the next new contract elsewhere comes a calling – then the boom and bust cycle of “be interested for 6 months score goals and relax for 2 and a half years” starts again. If he isn’t to leave this Summer this means we’ve got 1 striker who had an amazing purple patch last year but who knows if he will replicate, one striker who can’t hit a barn door with a banjo and Emmanuel Adebayor. The simply has to be a refresh or at the very least 1 addition to the attack line next season as I don’t think Kane can afford to carry the attack on his own. Don’t be too shocked if Adebayor is still here come September 1st he known he is on to much of a winner at the moment, unfortunately we’re the losers.
Players on Loan:
Lewis Holtby – Was OK under Andre Villas Boas but failed to convince Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino he was deserving of a regular first team squad role. I think when he first signed we got too excited that we signed a German International, never quite clicked for him though. Expect to see his move to Hamburg made permanent especially now that Bundesliga safety has been secured.
Tom Carroll – Another in Lewis Holtby mould (not German) but just someone who never quite clicked, only 13 appearances for Swansea would probably suggest that they won’t be in a rush to sign him permanently but I would expect another loan period or even a permanent signing for a lower half Premier League side next season.
Dele Alli – Signed in the January transfer window from MK Dons and then subsequently loaned back, I would expect him to feature in the first team squad next season especially if we can get rid of deadwood such as Paulinho and Capoue.
Alex Pritchard – After a really good season out on loan at Brentford it will be interesting to see what Pochettino will have in mind for the 22 year old. Will he now be given the opportunity to be part of the first team squad next season, you could even make a case of selling Townsend and Pritchard filling his spot. Maybe one more season out on a loan but this time to a Premier League side before making the final jump. His time will come it’s just a case of when.
So we’ve done one bit of business already in Kevin Wimmer at Centre Back but that’s more than likely not going to be the only player coming in this Summer. Yesterday I read that we made a £3.5m bid for Burnley’s Kieran Trippier which although could be a decent enough singing I wouldn’t really say getting another Right Back is the top priority for now, although to me this would say maybe Pochettino doesn’t like the look of DeAndre Yedlin and is getting Trippier as the back up/competition for Kyle Walker?
We also supposedly missed out on another Burnley player this time in Danny Ings who announced his move to Liverpool earlier this week. Not the biggest surprise because we were never really the favourites to get him and also getting a striker of his quality in is going to be quite a hard sell because when only playing 1 up top and with Kane undoubtedly going to filling that role, is Ings going to be prepared to sit on the bench at Spurs. I suppose you could argue that he’s going to do exactly the same at Liverpool but maybe Ings sees Liverpool as a bigger club than Tottenham but thats another argument for another day
Andre Ayew is another one whose signature we supposedly we got beaten to, this time by Swansea. He could have been addition to the squad but is he arguably better than say Chadli or would we just be buying someone who adds no increased value to the side. So the players we have been linked with sound promising and the players we have missed out would intimate that we are looking in the right players for the right places we just need to make sure we get the edge on other clubs when finalising transfer targets. But I suppose Tottenham have already got a good idea of who they want to bring in and ship out this Summer so now it’s just a case of hoping they deliver a much needed solid transfer window – one we have certainly lacked over the last 2 seasons. I still think the spine of the team from top to bottom is a bit soft so ideally one Centre Back, one Centre Midfielder and another Striker need to be added to the squad as when you compare the spine of our team to the other top 5/6 clubs it does seem a bit soft in comparison.
As the names come in and hopefully also go, I’ll keep updated on this but here’s just my view of what the transfer activity should be this transfer window. As always it’s just opinion so please feel free to share yours and thanks for taking the time to read it. Come On You Spurs!