While other clubs seem to be getting several deals done fast and early – Manchester United have signed Romelu Lukaku, Arsenal have Alexandre Lacazette, while Everton have also gone on a massive spending spree, attracting Davy Klaasen, Wayne Rooney and Henry Onyekuru, among others – Tottenham Hotspur have been notable in that they have not signed anyone at all.
It is an old adage of the Premier League that teams who don not improve year-on-year will fall behind, but this current Spurs squad is unlikely to follow suit.
For starters, Mauricio Pochettino’s side have one of, if not the, best starting sides – on paper, anyway. The league’s top-scorer, Harry Kane, paired with the intricate Christian Eriksen and the dynamic Dele Alli, form an attacking trio that matches any in the league.
The likes of Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama are both physically dominant and technically more efficient when compared to other pairings, while the defence looks to be impassable at times, with Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen and Eric Dier combining to great effect centrally, Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier are sublime in the full-back role.
Hugo Lloris, of course, requires no introduction. He is one of the greatest goalkeepers to ever play for Tottenham.
So, from the start, Spurs will struggle to attract anyone who will improve their starting eleven – especially considering their limited budget, with the new stadium to pay for. It says a lot that Manchester United have spent a reported £75 million on a player who would not break into the Pochettino’s starting-11.[interaction id=”5963e95ded4f1400778e9c9c”]
Lukaku is not as good as Kane, and nor is Lacazette – that alone means a total value of £120 million’s worth of strikers have been purchased by two top clubs, yet neither would start for Spurs.
Clearly, Arsenal and Manchester United are playing catch-up. But it also is demonstrative of a market where value is difficult to find. Bargain buys like Dele Alli are a rarity, though Spurs have excelled in recent years – Alderweireld, Wanyama, the aforementioned Alli as well as Eric Dier were all brought in on the cheap.
This does result in an atmosphere that encourages promotion from within, so players like Harry Winks get more game time at Spurs compared to youth products at other clubs.
With the successes of Josh Onomah, Kyle Walker-Peters and Marcus Edwards coming through the youth system at various levels, there is an abundance of talent already at Spurs that manager Mauricio Pochettino may well seek to delve into instead of spending big, either within the Premier League – which comes with its inflated price tags and premiums on home-grown talent – or abroad, which has the added risk of players failing to settle in the league.
One must also consider that some players already at the club – like Erik Lamela and Vincent Janssen – are also likely to play bigger roles this season. Lamela’s absence, much lamented by some, was due to injury, while with any Janssen will start to look less like a comical figure bumbling his way up and down the pitch and more like an acceptable reserve striker.
In any case, Spurs will struggle to attract a striker whose game time will be limited. Younger players will want minutes on the pitch, which – barring injury to Kane – won’t happen, while older players are more likely to be unsuitable for the high-press system that Pochettino likes to operate.
Clearly, not only the characteristics of potential signings are rare, but the individual playing styles are arguably even rarer. Very few players in the world could play Dele Alli’s support-striker role, or others Mousa Dembele’s box-to-box midfield role, that focuses so heavily on ball retention. Finding these players on a relatively tight budget is nigh-on impossible.
So, for now, Tottenham fans wait for signings. No purchases is better than bad purchases – one only has to think back to deadline day last year when Spurs spent £30 million on Moussa Sissoko. It is imperative that the Lilywhites avoid those mistakes again, so perhaps it will be a little longer before the club announces a new signing.
The Standard report that a deal is in the pipeline for Juan Foyth of Estudiantes, and a £10 million purchase of a young defender seems like the kind of buy that suits all parties. But, make no mistake, the big money deals will not be centring around the Lilywhites this summer. With the abundance of talent already at the club it is more important that Spurs keep their big names.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen could be one of Premier League’s greatest ever bargains
Christian Eriksen is getting better by the season and cost Spurs just £11.5 million.
This week has seen Arsenal legend Martin Keown singing the praises of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen. Speaking on BBC One’s Match of the Day (18th March) Keown stated:
“This player was always technically proficient, but he’s getting better all the time. It’s top level ability. He can pick a pass whenever he wants to. He just has everything.
“I enjoy watching him play. He wants to work, that’s part of the team ethic. He’s becoming the brains of the team.”
His comments came after Eriksen starred in the weekend win v Swansea City. The Dane scored twice as Tottenham booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final courtesy of a 3-0 triumph.
Keown then commented on the price Spurs paid for Eriksen back in 2013:
“I think they paid £12.5 million for him, that’s an absolute snip.”
Looking back now it is clear to see just how much of a bargain Spurs managed to bring in. Eriksen was approaching the end of his Ajax contract at the time, which did not help the Dutch side’s bargaining power.
Comparing Eriksen to his current contemporaries in the game it is clear to see just how incredible a deal this was for Spurs.
Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January. The Brazilian cost a fee reported by Sky Sports to be £146 million. Tottenham fans will rightly believe that Eriksen is at least as good as the Barca newbie. In fact, many will suggest Eriksen is the superior operator.
Another barometer to consider in this case is that of Tottenham’s summer signing Davinson Sanchez. The Colombian, like Eriksen, was signed from Ajax but four years on and with circumstances different cost much more.
Sanchez cost a club record £42 million, according to the Guardian. That is a difference of over £30 million which highlights just how impressive the fee paid for Eriksen is. In the world of £200 million transfer fees looking back at the deal for Eriksen nearly five years ago will please Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.
Tottenham will obviously hope they never have to sell the Dane. But if they did, the fee involved could easily amount to £100m-plus.
Which would certainly not be a bad return on the investment from Tottenham Hotspur’s point of view.
Sessegnon or Bale? Past or future? Spurs must make right move this summer
Tottenham Hotspur appear to be emerging as the frontrunners in the race to sign Fulham talent Ryan Sessegnon this summer.
The Times reported in January that Tottenham had made a £25 million bid the summer previously, but that Fulham value the teenager at around £50 million.
On top of that, Spurs are also being linked with a sensational move to bring Gareth Bale back to North London. Spanish source Diario Gol has reported that Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer – and has decided a return to Spurs is his wish. Bale of course left Spurs for Madrid in what the Telegraph reported was a then world record £86 million fee.
It poses a big question for Spurs’s chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mauricio Pochettino. Do they start a new future, or go back to the past?
Sessegnon has been consistently compared to Bale in playing style. Much of that is down to his left-back origin. A lot of it is also down to his obvious precocious talent.
Tottenham will no doubt not be able to afford both players this summer. So what do they do?
The arrival of Bale would be a dream comeback. However, the Welshman turns 29 in June and has suffered with consistent injury problems over the past few years.
Sessegnon on the other hand is at the start of his career. The 17-year-old has already played nearly 70 professional games and scored 21 goals, many of those from left-back.
He would cost less than Bale and in the long-run would be a more stable investment. If Bale’s injury problems continued Tottenham could end up paying a larger sum for a player who cannot be relied upon.
Tottenham Hotspur should continue to look to the future in the case of Sessegnon or Bale. Bring in the Fulham star and hopefully reap the rewards.
Moroyin Omolabi released by Tottenham Hotspur one year after praise
The Nigerian defender briefly spent time on trial at Reading this year.
Nearly one year ago Tottenham Hotspur prospect Moroyin Omolabi was winning praise for his performances in the club’s youth teams.
After a win against Norwich City for the under-18s the Nigerian midfielder was given high praise by his manager John McDermott.
It came after he seamlessly dropped into a centre-back role for the game. Speaking to the official Tottenham Hotspur website after the game McDermott stated:
“Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good.
“There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.”
It seemed that the 18-year-old might, therefore, be a player to keep tabs on for the Spurs first-team one day.
But despite impressing back in April of last year, it seems Omolabi has not progressed quite like Tottenham would have hoped.
In the most recent list of player registrations released by the FA the versatile teenager has been confirmed as released by Tottenham.
The 18-year-old left Spurs by mutual consent on the 27th February.
The teenager was a part of the UEFA Youth League squad for Spurs, but did not feature in a single game.
He played seven times in the Under-18 Premier League this campaign, scoring against West Ham back in October.
But after dropping out of contention at Spurs, the Nigerian spent time on trial at Reading – featuring in three games for the Berkshire club.
His final game for Tottenham appears to have been the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in October.
His failure to launch at Spurs just highlights the strength in depth Tottenham have in their youth ranks.
The teenager will now face a hunt for a new team in the summer, with his Tottenham days behind him.
It will be interesting to see if Reading follows up their interest in the player but Omolabi will now be on the hunt for a new team.
Hopefully, his education at Tottenham Hotspur will see him in good stead in his hunt for a professional career elsewhere.
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