How have these transfer dealings left Tottenham unprepared for the new season?

In theory, getting your transfer business done and dusted as early as possible in the window benefits all parties. The buying club enjoy, at the very least, a start to the season with minimal disruption to the squad, while the selling club have time to find a replacement if need be. However, perhaps most importantly, the player himself has time to settle within his new surroundings, build relationships with teammates and become accustomed to a new manager and style of play.

It looked as though, for once, Levy and Spurs would follow this seemingly simple formula and get their targets integrated within the squad as quickly as possible. The efficient capture of Southampton’s Victor Wanyama was followed closely by Vincent Janssen from AZ, with ultimately very little complication.

 

Georges-Kévin N’Koudou; the 21-year-old winger from Marseille, has endured a far more typical of Tottenham style transfer. Even though rumours are swirling that N’Koudou has in fact been training with the squad for a number of weeks now, the deal is still pending announcement due to Levy’s incessant haggling.

We are now three games into the season though, and Tottenham’s transfer business has been decidedly obscure, leaving the club once more in a state of uncertainty. Alex Pritchard and DeAndre Yedlin have been sold for a combined £13 million, while Federico Fazio and Nabil Bentaleb have been farmed out on loan to Roma and Schalke respectively.

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Nacer Chadli is now a Baggie, joining West Brom in a £13 million deal, while Wolfsburg have established terms with Son Heung-min, pending an agreed upon fee believed to be in the region of £24m according to the Daily Mail.

Ryan Mason is set to join Hull where he’ll team up with ex-Spurs teammates Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore, while Tom Carroll is also surplus to requirements. Should the deal for N’Koudou eventually be completed, it also looks as though N’Jie will go the opposite way in another loan deal.

 

This leaves the Spurs squad decidedly thin, worryingly so if the club are to challenge on all fronts domestically and in the Champions League, where they make their overdue return.

It was widely reported the North London side had a bid of roughly £12-15 million rejected recently for Palace’s tricky winger Wilfried Zaha, with Eagles chairman Steve Parish labelling the approach as ‘derisory’. When compared with Tottenham’s bid for Zaha, it does seem odd that a player of Chadli’s calibre; one that guarantees a modest helping of goals from midfield each season, should be allowed to leave for just £13 million, in a time when clubs are commanding astronomical fees for players.

Not to be deterred though, expect Levy to return with an improved offer for the Englishman, who started on the bench against Bournemouth. Zaha would give Spurs another option out wide, possessing the pace, trickery and explosiveness the side are lacking, particularly on the counter attack.

Another player linked in recent days is Madrid’s playmaker Isco. Seemingly out of favour under Zinedine Zidane the club are expected to lose the Spaniard, with president Florentino Perez preferring James Rodriguez having blocked the Colombian’s exit. Chelsea remain interested, yet Tottenham appears the likely destination for the 24-year-old who, like Zaha, fits Pochettino’s preferred profile.

Today, the rumour turned somewhat into fruition as Tottenham made their interest concrete with a reported loan offer, as per the Daily Mirror: Spurs want the option of a more permanent deal, whereas the Madrid giants and reining European Champions appear to be looking for a temporary exit, perhaps in the hope their man gets some game time and finds some form.

One would think a player with Isco’s reputation and prestige would fit straight into the starting XI at Spurs, but at what cost? Like Erik Lamela before him, Christian Eriksen is now often the scapegoat when things aren’t quite working out for this young side. It’s not quite alarm bells time yet, as the Dane has proven his worth to the club in the past and his ability remains undoubted, but three performances well below what we’ve come to expect will have fans and club hierarchy alike worried.

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The capture of Isco would very much be an outlandish one, but it would be unlike Tottenham, at this stage in their development moving forward, to not have a plan at this point in the window; particularly having allowed so many players to leave.

The Lilywhites remain undefeated after three sub-par performances to start the season, taking five points from nine. Mousa Dembélé has one game remaining of his six game ban, and should walk straight back into a team that’s missed him so visibly.

Fans will be hopeful Levy manages to make some substantial additions before the window closes in the coming days though. A new stadium is on the way and Champions League football is back, but is Levy’s incessant interfering and penny-pinching in the market stalling Tottenham’s development? After the statement signings made in Manchester and across London at Chelsea, the top seems to be getting further out of reach.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Ian Johnson

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