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Tottenham threatened to challenge for the Premier League title for the second season on the bounce last term, but ultimately fell short due to the brilliance of Chelsea.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men were made to rue results against the lesser sides in the division, suffering costly draws with Sunderland, West Brom and Bournemouth, along with a defeat away to West Ham, and ended up finishing seven points behind the Blues.
Spurs endured a frustrating campaign prior to the last one, when Leicester beat them out for the crown, with poor performances against bottom-half outfits again to blame for their failure.
Playing catch up
One of the main aspects of their inability to get over the line and win the crown has been the fact that they’ve been forced to play catch up in the second half of the season.
Twice Pochettino’s men have left themselves no margin for error in the decisive moments of the campaign, resulting in their heartbreak in May.
The Argentine must ensure that his side get off to a strong start this time around, without the prospect of suffering draws and defeats that they could look back in disappointment at the end of the term, with Spurs odds of winning the crown standing at 9/1 for next season.
Tottenham have not been active in their bid to improve their side – in fact, the club have been weakened by the departure of Kyle Walker to Manchester City for £53m.
Kieran Trippier performed well going forward in his eight Premier League appearances last season, so he should have no problem stepping into the role on a full-time basis, but the defensive depth has been worn away.
That should be a concern given that Tottenham will be active across four competitions next term.
Cameron Carter-Vickers flashed potential at times, but the club should be in the market for at least one defender given that Jan Vertonghen had fitness issues last season, which forced Eric Dier out of midfield.
Hoffenheim’s Filip Toljan has been linked to back up Trippier, while Filip Benkovic has also been touted with a move, which would provide the depth that the club require with their starting lineup set more or less in stone.
Mateo Kovacic could be the one player linked that could break that thought. The midfielder has been unable to force his way into the Real Madrid side and would offer Spurs a creative influence from the middle of the park not seen since Luka Modric’s departure to Real.
Kovacic shares traits with his compatriots and would ease the burden on Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Son Heung-min to provide ammunition for Harry Kane.
Who can fill in for Kane?
Kane’s injury last season did not have a huge impact on Tottenham’s form, with Alli rising to the occasion to fill the scoring burden during his absence.
The England man had to perform as Vincent Janssen failed to live up to expectations following his £17m move from Ajax.
Pochettino may have lost patience with the Dutchman, who struggled immensely leading the line. As a result, Spurs have been linked with Bournemouth’s Joshua King. The 25-year-old scored 16 goals for the Cherries in the top flight last term in 36 appearances and his size, along with finishing ability, would make him a solid complement for Kane.
Must add more depth
Spurs do not have to make sweeping changes to their side, but the size of their current squad is not enough to maintain a charge for the Premier League title.
Pochettino must ensure that the additions provide the quality to step up and are not liabilities to their potential surge that Moussa Sissoko and Janssen were last term.
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