Tottenham faced one of the toughest possible tests in pre-season as they faced up against Barcelona, who took a 2-0 lead through Munir El Haddadi and Arthur within the first half an hour.
It looked as though the Spanish side could romp home to a convincing victory, but a two minute double salvo from Heung Min Son and substitute George Nkoudou pulled the tie back level before a penalty shoot-out when Anthony Georgiou’s miss confined the English team to defeat.
Here are three things we learnt from the clash…
Spurs are lacking strength in depth
Ending the game with a central midfield duo of Luke Amos and Oliver Skipp, neither of whom have made a first team debut in a competitive fixture, it just goes to show just how few options Mauricio Pochettino has at present with his World Cup aces absent.
What makes matters even worse is that injuries continue to pile up as Moussa Sissoko suffered a hamstring strain whilst Erik Lamela was forced to warm up alone due to an injury concern. Adding that into an already shallow squad and there is potential for a recipe for disaster.
“It’s amazing to give the possibility to players like Luke Amos or Oliver Skipp, and they were fantastic. We need to take positive things. Luke and Oliver are having time in competition with the first team and I think that is an amazing experience and it’s fantastic for our youngsters to live that experience. We need to take positive things in a negative period with some injuries to players.”
Cameron Carter-Vickers could have a role to play
With only one natural central defender on the pitch for Tottenham, it was a real chance to shine for Cameron Carter-Vickers as he continued his audition for a role in the first team next season after loan spells at Sheffield United and Ipswich Town last season.
In a brief blip he allowed Munir El Haddadi to run free and head home an equaliser, but he made several strong challenges and co-ordinated the back line in a way which belies his youth and lack of experience. He may not be up to the level of player Tottenham would usually look for, but if no signing can be found, they could certainly do worse than trusting the American.
Riqui Puig could have been the answer
One of the unexpected stars of the show was young Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig, a teenager who was strongly linked with a move to Tottenham earlier this summer by a range of sources, including SPORT. The dazzling and skillful display in the middle of the park from one of the least experienced players on the pitch showed why Spurs were interested.
Had Puig been dressed in the white of Tottenham, things could have been very different. Lacking depth in the middle of the park and with a spot for an exciting, attacking individual, Puig may well have been the player to make the difference.