With only seven games to go of the Premier League season and no cup involvement, Spurs have the chance to make one final push for the top four and hope that somebody slips up. Whilst this is unlikely, it is never right to write Spurs off. However with no realistic targets left this season, it’s time for Daniel Levy to begin thinking about the summer ahead.
First, the manager. Current boss Tim Sherwood has said on several occasions that he is planning for life as Spurs manager next season and hopes he can get the job. However, with a split in the fan base over a manager, again, Levy may be forced to change again. With current Holland manager Louis Van Gaal practically asking to be given the nod, it may be time for Levy to ditch plans for a ‘project’ and bring someone in to steady the ship, like he did with Harry Redknapp. Other possible candidates include Frank De Boer, Rafael Benitez and Roberto Mancini. Van Gaal is an early favourite amongst the fans and his record speaks for itself (via Wikipedia):
- Eredivisie: 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96
- KNVB Cup: 1992–93
- Johan Cruijff Shield: 1993, 1994, 1995
- UEFA Champions League: 1994–95
- UEFA Cup: 1991–92
- UEFA Super Cup: 1995
- Intercontinental Cup: 1995
His experience and knowhow around Europe is something few managers can relate to and show off. He’s managed some of the best players in the world at three of the world’s most prestigious clubs and if brought in, would be just the lift the club needs.
Of course, no manager can work without players. With the future of some first team stars under question and the left-back position needing upgrading, this will be Levy’s first aim.
Week-by-week, it is looking more and more likely that Jan Vertonghen isn’t as happy this season as he was last. If this is the case, Levy will have to look for a top class centre back to fill the void left by the Belgian. Should Vertonghen leave, Levy will earn a healthy amount for the defender, a player who has improved Spurs’ defence beyond means. A very solid and composed defender, who can get forward and score, he has been on the radar of all the big clubs recently. Michael Dawson also looks like he could be coming to the end of his time, with performances not being what Spurs fans used to see from the club captain. Younes Kaboul has suffered spells of injuries and will need the next seven games to prove himself worthy of a new contract or face being released. In a worst case scenario, Spurs would need three new centre backs this summer.
With the departure of goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes looking more than likely and a possible retirement for Brad Friedel who turns 43 in May, Spurs will either have to place their trust in young keepers Jordan Archer and Luke McGee. Of course, there is also a high chance that teams will come in for Hugo Lloris, meaning the goalkeeping position will have to be a priority. However, with Marc Andre Ter Stegen apparently on his way to the Camp Nou and Real Madrid remaining content with Diego Lopez and Iker Casillas, it seems Paris Saint-Germain are the only realistic suitors for the Frenchman’s signature. However, upon his arrival from Lyon in 2012, Lloris said he moved to England to play in a better league and had no intention of returning back to his home country and Ligue 1 anytime soon. This could mean he will stay at White Hart Lane for the foreseeable future.
The left back position has been one of much stress to Spurs fans for several decades. In recent weeks, it has become clear that Danny Rose is not good enough to be a first choice left-back at a top four chasing club. He has plenty of attacking ability but zones out often and is sluggish when tracking back. Ezekiel Fryers is still young and not ready for the Premier League. He also looks like he could develop into a decent centre half.
Next up, the striker. With the departure of Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC in February, Spurs were left with two experienced strikers – Roberto Soldado & Emmanuel Adebayor as well as youngster Harry Kane. With the future of both senior strikers uncertain; one due to a lack of form and the other for financial reasons, Spurs may need to look into one or two new players in this position.
Finally, the midfield and wings. With Paulinho having a disappointing first season and Mousa Dembele having another frustrating season, Spurs may need to look for a new partner for Sandro. However, this is not a priority as Spurs boast an abundance of players in the position and just need to tinker with the squad to find the right combination. Spurs currently have six players who can play out wide, four being out and out wingers. With Aaron Lennon’s days at White Hart Lane looking to be nearing an end, it may be worth dipping in the market for a young, versatile and quick winger.
It’s not use just looking where to improve if there aren’t players available. Here are my targets for the positions I have mentioned above. I will include at least two from each position because transfers never go smoothly, do they? The first one is my preference, with the second as a back up.
1. Kasper Schmeichel – Young and already very experienced. Some very good performances for Leicester and Denmark. His dad was alright, too, wasn’t he? Has to be genetic.
2. Maarten Stekelenburg – Full of experience, very reliable and has played in a World Cup final. Dutch number 1.
1. Ben Davies – One of Swansea’s less talked about players. One of the better full backs in the League and a lot more experienced than Rose and Fryers.
2. Luke Shaw – Very unlikely as Chelsea and Manchester United are after the highly rated 18 year old. Would be a perfect fit but can’t see it happening.
1. Dejan Lovren – Another Southampton player and someone we were looking at before he moved to the Premier League. Would be a good replacement if any of Dawson, Kaboul or Vertonghen.
2. Inigo Martinez – A huge talent from Real Sociedad. Also very highly sought after but would bolster the squad and improve our back line sufficiently.
3. Ron Vlaar – His international manager is Louis Van Gaal and with the Dutchman looking like he wants the Spurs job, he may choose to bring his fellow countryman with him. A defender with Premier League experience and highly improved in the past year.
4. Steven Caulker – With a rumoured clause in his contract that allows a return to White Hart Lane for £10million should Cardiff get relegated, he’d be a very good re-addition to the squad after coming through the ranks at Spurs.
1. Yehven Konoplyanka – The chairman of Dnipro has said a deal could happen should the player want it. Tore us to shreds time and again for Dnipro in the Europa League Last 32.
2. Antoine Griezmann – A very promising winger with an abundance of experience for his age, he is one of the most sought after young wingers in football. Would be a superb addition to the squad, but also very unlikely to happen.
1. Romelu Lukaku – Having enjoyed loan spells at West Brom and Everton, the Chelsea forward is apparently being placed in the shop window and Spurs are one of several suitors interested in the Belgian’s signings. Tipped to be one of the best strikers of his age group, he would be a good replacement should Adebayor leave Tottenham this summer.
2. Christian Benteke – Another Belgian. With plenty of Premier League experience, Benteke is now enjoying his second season at Aston Villa. After a shaky start, he’s vastly improved since January. Almost joined in July of last year.
3. Wilfried Bony – A newer addition to England but would be another brilliant replacement should Adebayor leave White Hart Lane. Strong, quick and a terrific finisher, both he and Benteke would suit the strikers role just fine.
Of course, debates will continue into this until Deadline Day in August but it looks like Spurs could be involved heavily in the summer transfer window, again. A target would be to sell deadwood and players who want to leave and then add three to five players who will fit into the starting XI and improve the overall squad. Feel free to comment below on who you think may be a realistic target for Spurs this summer.
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