I usually head into transfer windows giddy with excitement about Daniel Levy’s impending wheeling and dealing, but this summer I suspect Spurs will be very quiet indeed. I suspect it’ll be four in, five out — with very little drama, as befits the new low-key, post-Redknapp/AVB/Sherwood everyone-take-a-breath Tottenham 2.0.
The obvious ones to leave will be: Adebayor, Capoue, Kaboul and Chiriches. They won’t be missed. The fifth, in my view, will be Andros Townsend. At the end of last season, both he and Lamela were given an extended run in the team to prove their worth, and while Lamela is frustrating, Townsend is totally ineffective. While his England stock remains high, now would be the time to sell and I’m sure Levy knows that.
Coming in, Spurs have signed Kevin Wimmer at centre back — he’s been talked about for ages so I hope he is good. I don’t think you’ll see anything more in defence — Eric Dier is v highly thought of at the club and I seriously rate him as a centre back prospect, while Vertonghen remains the other first choice. Expect Wimmer and Fazio to be the Europa League pairing. LB is set with Rose and Davies. I’d love to upgrade Kyle Walker at right back, but that can wait a year. Yedlin will get a run in the Europa, probably.
The key area of need is a quality defensive midfielder. While Spurs CBs got the blame, most goals originated in the midfield area. Ryan Mason tries hard, and is good at setting the tempo, but he is no holding midfielder, while Bentaleb is more of a playmaker than a ball winner. Schneiderlin would be the dream, but I suspect he’ll get a better offer. Imbula at Marseille is the guy who I’d really like to see more of. Stambouli and Mason is a decent Europe League midfield.
In attacking midfield, the key is someone to challenge Chadli, who has no competition on the left wing. I expect someone hard to pronounce and ultimately underwhelming, but we’ll see if the new transfer team can pull a rabbit from the hat. The young guns like Tommy Carroll, Alex Pritchard and Deli Alli will provide good Europe League cover and competition for Eriksen and Lamela.
The toughest situation is up front. Sadly, seems like Ings is off to Liverpool — I appreciate why he doesn’t want to come to the Lane and play second fiddle to Harry Kane. Spurs may need to be a bit creative — someone like Stefan Jovetic or Ayoze Perez would fit the bill as someone who can play with Kane. I think Bobby Soldado will stay as back up — he’s obviously a good egg, and his link-up game is good. He just can’t score anymore, which doesn’t really matter in Europa League as no-one watches or cares.
So, it’ll be quiet — but that is fine. Let the big four spend hundreds of millions, we’re not going to overtake them next season, we all know it — best of the rest is fine for me as long as I’m enjoying following the team, which I certainly am at the moment. Spurs are trying to build a new stadium — they had a profit of £80 million last season, so another year like that and it’ll be half the job of funding the massive project done. Then, the club can try to seriously compete from a position of equality. Spurs had a gamechanger last year with the emergence of Kane, there is a good young core that is developing, and at this stage the only real talent who is too good for the team is Hugo Lloris, but he’s a keeper and Vorm isn’t a bad replacement.
(Originally published as a letter on Football 365 on June 5)