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Three players Tottenham Hotspur must target this summer

Ruari Macneil

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Photo: Getty Images

As the season draws to a close, thoughts begin to turn to the summer transfer window and the chance to address the imbalances that began to arise in the squad over the course of the season past.

Mauricio Pochettino‘s Tottenham Hotspur threw away their last chance of silverware in the FA Cup semi-final as they passed up their early lead, losing 2-1 to Jose Mourinho’s pragmatic Manchester United side earlier this month.

The quest for a title goes on for Spurs, who have now been without a trophy for a decade, the last one coming in the form of the 2007-2008 League Cup.

Until they get over the line and win something as a squad, it will be hard to view them as anything more than a continually developing club, as opposed to outright contenders on all fronts, despite playing some of the best football in the country on occasion.

With the summer window rapidly approaching, here are three players Tottenham should most definitely be considering for the 2018/2019 season.

Memphis Depay

Former Manchester United star Memphis Depay failed to reach the heights expected of him at Old Trafford, leaving after just 18 months to join Ligue 1 club Lyon. Dubbed by many to become one of the greatest players in Europe, at 24 Depay still has the majority of his career ahead of him, and the Dutchman has been working hard in France to ensure he still has a chance of achieving what was expected of him a few years ago.

Depay is as strong as they come and has a clear eye for goal, with highly impressive scoring records for both Lyon and his country. The winger has bagged nine goals for the Netherlands in 36 caps, and has scored 20 goals in 49 league appearances for Lyon.

Manchester United will be closely monitoring his progress with an eye to potentially bringing him back to Old Trafford in the future. However, Spurs should pounce and offer the 24-year-old a second chance to be a Premier League star and silence his critics.

Layvin Kurzawa

Another Ligue 1 star, France international Layvin Kurzawa would be a great addition to the Spurs squad at left-back. With Danny Rose’s future in the balance, Tottenham’s chase for a potential replacement has been well documented, and the PSG star would provide a more than credible option for Mauricio Pochettino.

Having signed Serge Aurier last summer, Spurs could look to continue their recent tradition of signing Ligue 1 stars and, as Kurzawa has proved over the last three seasons in Paris, he is one of Europe’s hottest prospects in his position.

The 25-year-old’s experience in Europe will increase his desirability to Spurs, with the North London club now regulars in Europe’s elite competition. Should Rose leave, which is plausible, a move for Kurzawa should be considered by Pochettino and chairman Daniel Levy.

Jonathan Tah

Bayer Leverkusen centre-half Jonathan Tah is one of Europe’s brightest defensive prospects, and has gone about making his mark on the German national team in recent years. Aged only 22, Tah has already amassed 140 senior appearances for Leverkusen, Hamburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf, and they do not come more experienced at his age.

It remains to be seen whether Toby Alderweireld will be a Tottenham player next season and, should the Belgian star leave, a huge gulf will be left to fill in the heart of defence. With Jan Vertonghen and Davinson Sanchez as the other senior central defensive options, Tah would be a great addition for Spurs to bolster Pochettino’s options.

Tah is currently contracted with Leverkusen until 2023, and would likely cost Spurs a fair amount of money. However, if the North London club have genuine hopes of become one of Europe’s elite sides, spending big money on young stars is simply something the club will have to accept.

 

Life long lover of sport in general with a soft spot for football. A consistent defender of Scottish football as a spectacle. Desperately waiting to see my country qualify for a major tournament.

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Tottenham have already identified Eric Dier’s £25 million replacement in Wilmar Barrios

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Photo: Getty Images.

Losing first team regulars may not be a complete surprise to Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino, and that may why be reports are indicating that the coach has already lined up an alternative to Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama should either move on this summer.

The Sun say that there is still interest in Dier, who will be at the World Cup with England, whilst Wanyama’s struggles with injury may mean that Pochettino looks elsewhere for the role of midfield enforcer.

They believe the target to be Boca Juniors’ 24-year-old holding midfielder Wilmar Barrios, a Colombian international who plays alongside Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez at international level.

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The youngster has become a key man in the Boca Juniors side but, perhaps unusually, has not caught the attention of many in Europe. Barrios has, though, developed a reputation as one of the best players in South America, particularly in his position, as he has become a linchpin protecting his back four.

That is protected in his very impressive stats, which show that he makes on average three tackles per game and 2.8 interceptions per match, compared to the 1.8 tackles and 1.3 interceptions for Dier playing in a very similar role.

Barrios’ intelligent reading of the game has drawn comparisons to Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro, with both men guilt of diving into tackles on occasion despite all of their many strengths.

He may be raw, with no experience of playing in Europe, but at £25 million he could prove to be a bargain and Mauricio Pochettino’s return home to go on a shopping spree could provide a long-term solution to the holding midfield role which seems as uncertain as ever after the 2017/18 season.

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If Tottenham lose Christian Eriksen, Hakim Ziyech is a quality replacement

Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with the Ajax star this summer.

Mathew Coull

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Tottenham Hotspur will be hoping to keep as much of their squad together for next season after another impressive, but ultimately trophyless campaign. One player who it seems may be hard to keep hold of is Danish attacker Christian Eriksen.

The playmaker has perhaps just had the best season of his Tottenham career but has attracted interest with that form. Barcelona are looking to find a replacement for club legend Andres Iniesta, who is leaving the Nou Camp this summer. As reported by Don Balon this weekend, Barca have decided Eriksen is the man for that job.

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With Barca lurking, Tottenham will be fearful of losing their Danish star. But who would the club sign as his replacement?

One potential option appears to be Moroccan international and Ajax star Hakim Ziyech. Last week it was reported that Spurs were one of many clubs interested in the player by Italian outlet Calciomercato.

So could he replace Eriksen?

The obvious comparisons begin with the club from which Tottenham would be signing him. Eriksen also arrived at Spurs from Ajax and has certainly proved to be a success.

In terms of playing style, he is very much like the Spurs star. An intelligent player he reads the game brilliantly. His passing range is also excellent and he has shown that on numerous occasions for Ajax the past two season.

This season he has scored nine goals in 39 appearances but has also been an assist machine. The 25-year-old has provided an incredible 18 assists in all competitions this season and is set to be the focal point of Morocco’s attack at the World Cup this summer.

(Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

With Eriksen gone, Tottenham would be in need of a similar assist king and Ziyech is young enough to continue improving whilst still offering much of what Eriksen does for Spurs.

Signing Ziyech whilst Eriksen remains at the club would certainly not be necessary. With Dele Alli also present, it would be overkill in the number 10 role at Spurs.

But should they reluctantly let Eriksen head to Spain, Tottenham would be right to sign the carbon-copy Moroccan from Ajax this summer.

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Abdoulaye Doucoure could be the ideal successor for Tottenham’s Mousa Dembele

The France Under-21 international has enjoyed a fine season.

Josh Kerr

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Abdoulaye Doucoure
Photo: Getty Images

Watford‘s Abdoulaye Doucoure has enjoyed an impressive season at Vicarage Road and the versatile midfielder could prove to be an ideal signing for Tottenham Hotspur this summer.

According to the Mirror, Mauricio Pochettino is ready to listen to offers for the likes of Mousa Dembele, Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Moussa Sissoko.

Dembele was one of the names shortlisted and has been a revelation in his six years at the club.

Many Spurs players, including Dele Alli, Danny Rose and Eric Dier stated in Soccer AM interviews that they believe the 30-year-old midfielder to be the best player at the club.

However, Dembele is one of the stars linked with a departure from the Lilywhites so a replacement for the Belgian will be a vital priority for Pochettino this summer. Doucoure could be the perfect man for the job.

The 25-year-old has been the Hornets’ stand-out player this season and has consistently demonstrated that he is capable of playing at the highest level.

(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Usually a holding midfielder, he is best known for his intricate array of passing in the middle of the park and his ability to break up play.

These traits match the qualities Dembele possesses and, therefore, he would prove a smart signing for Spurs.

The Frenchman also boasts an impressive tally in front of goal with seven goals and four assists in the league this season.

According to The Sun, Doucoure has been a previous target for Spurs, and the potential departure of Dembele gives Pochettino a greater incentive to find a replacement for the Belgium midfielder.

The France Under-21 international has two years remaining on his contract at Vicarage Road and is valued at £40 million.

The midfielder has been a goalscoring threat in a Watford side that has struggled to find consistency all season.

A move to one of the top-six would allow Doucoure to take his qualities to the next level and should definitely be a name the Lilywhites are monitoring over the summer period.

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