If Tottenham Hotspur’s 2016/17 campaign showed us anything it was that Mauricio Pochettino is an incredibly consistent manager and that the North London club lack the depth in key areas to sustain a title challenge right to the very last moments of a season.
Spurs’ second place finish was an outstanding achievement yet it also marked the second successive season in which they have finished a campaign without a trophy as well as falling just short in the domestic title race.
This has to be a concern for those in charge at the club with success now the absolute aim given the wealth of talent within the squad in addition to the excellent coaching system now in place.
It is understood that this won’t remain the case indefinitely with both Real Madrid and Manchester United holding the Argentine at the very top of their list for when the time comes to appoint a new manager.
Area of concern
One of the main areas of concern at Spurs is in attack and whilst this may sound ridiculous given Harry Kane’s return of 29 league goals last term there are few options in addition to him who can come in and support.
Son Heung-Min had his best season as he stepped up in terms of goalscoring as he found the net 14 times in the league but it is unclear if the South Korean will be able to repeat such a feat next term.
It is worth remembering that in the summer of 2016 the former Hamburg forward was actually deemed surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane and would have been allowed to leave had a club arrived with a suitable offer.
In terms of a central striker however it is Kane who is tasked with carrying Tottenham with the Vincent Janssen experiment having failed miserably.
2 Premier League goals in 24 appearances for the Dutchman illustrated just why so many clubs are uneasy with targeting players from the Eredivisie.
Janssen’s lack of technical ability and finesse shone through as his Tottenham career progressed and if there had been an even more serious injury to Kane or indeed a dramatic loss of form then it would have been quite easy to imagine a Spurs collapse.
Issue must be resolved
This cannot be allowed to happen, particularly with the club desperate to make more of a mark in the Champions League as Daniel Levy counts the cost of the ongoing stadium redevelopment.
Pochettino will be tasked with getting to at least the quarter-final of Europe’s elite club competition whilst maintaining a true title challenge this season.
Once the knockout stages of the Champions League arrive this is where fixture congestion becomes tricky and it is rather surprising as yet that the club haven’t made a single move in the transfer market.
One or two quality additions needed
Of course the international window doesn’t open fully until July 1 but whilst everyone, Arsenal aside of course, are strengthening significantly Tottenham are biding their time.
Now by no means is this a disaster with it clear that Pochettino only needs one or two additions this summer, however they need to be of a high standard in defence and attack.
Jan Vertonghen is developing a worrying pattern of injuries and it cannot be Kevin Wimmer who Spurs turn to in their possible hour of need.
In midfield there are no real concerns with the depth in this area at Tottenham probably the best in the Premier League. Pochettino’s continued faith in Harry Winks is yet another reason why the midfield is a settled position this summer with the English youngster a real favourite of the former Espanyol coach.
It could be argued that Spurs need two extra attacking signings this season although it is likely Josh Onomah will be used in a slightly further forward role this year to offset the need for more than one attacking signing.
Finding a top forward at a good price won’t be easy
Spurs’ system dictates that only one centre-forward is selected from the start of a match and there isn’t a single player on the market who could displace Kane, who is now easily in the top 4 strikers in world football. This of course does exclude Messi and Ronaldo.
The trick for Levy will be persuading a forward to join the club and dovetail with the English international, there has to be a promise of regular minutes but the fact he will never be first choice does clearly complicate the task.
Alexandre Lacazette is a player who has performed exceedingly well in France with Lyon in recent years and was set to join Atletico Madrid to replace Antoine Griezmann before the Court of Arbitration for Sport declared the club’s transfer ban would stand.
The French forward is expected to move to Madrid in January now but it would be the perfect opportunity for Tottenham to swoop in and bring in another high class forward to boost the quality of their attacking corps.
Price may be an issue with Lyon demanding a fee in excess of £55 million but in a market that has been partially inflated over time by Daniel Levy’s insistence on playing hardball at the negotiating table, sooner or later he will have to realise that high fees need to be paid to secure quality signings.
The centre-forward market isn’t a huge one this year as Manchester United are also finding out and whilst Tottenham don’t need somebody to lead the line, the reality is they need somebody who is capable of doing it.
The time to deliver is now
A failure to improve their team this summer would send a negative message, especially if another trophyless season follows.
Tottenham Hotspur are in the prime position to strike at this moment, they have the perfect blend of experience as a team and quality whilst it must be remembered that the group as a whole has matured together over the past two seasons.
Daniel Levy must now deliver for his manager and play his part in propelling the club he has looked after for so many years into a position where they can finally get over the line and win the Premier League title.
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris on Twitter @Chriswin4
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