With the January transfer window just around the corner, Elliot Rogers looks at what areas Tottenham need to strengthen in as well as potential targets.
Tottenham were devoid of imagination and creativity at home to Wigan this past weekend, a problem that has become far too familiar to Spurs fans in recent seasons.
With the sale of Luka Modric and Rafael Van der Vaart in the summer, Tottenham were always going to be found out with their replacements of Moussa Dembele and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Although Dembele has been imperious as the main outlet of creativity alongside Sandro at the heart of Spurs’ midfield, his injury at worse could see him side-lined for 6 more weeks. His absence was clear in the recent performance at home to Wigan where Tottenham had few chances, and looked like a team who could struggle for the near future with their current attacking options, especially with trips to the Etihad and the Emirates looming.
Gylfi Sigurdsson had a great season on loan from Hoffenheim at Swansea. Dempsey stood out as arguably Fulham’s best player last year with Dembele. However, after a notable draw at home to Norwich and a home defeat to Wigan, questions must be asked of whether they are up to the task of filling Modric and Van der Vaart’s boots, let alone improving Spurs’ side from last season.
Regardless of other players’ below par performances in these games, and the fact that Dempsey was a late buy, Tottenham fans will be less than impressed with these recent attacking performances, and would preferably argue if Sigurdsson and Dempsey can cut it at a higher level than point fingers at fan favourites Bale and Lennon.
Iago Falque is a promising youngster, but surely not ready to start important Premiership games for the club, and the rest of the team sheets substitutes are often filled with various other youth players. Spurs simply need strength in depth in their attacking positions, and if these results continue, fan and media pressure will only mount on AVB, so a career for the Portuguese manager at Spurs could be short lived.
This coming transfer window could be the most important time of the season for Tottenham. For a team that could not find the net at home to Wigan, the near signing of Joao Moutinho is ever more painful as the missing link that Tottenham need. With 2 assists in 5 games at Euro 2012, he was a wanted man in the summer transfer window. Tottenham fans will be hoping that the rumours circulating are true and Moutinho will sign at the start of January to play under close friend AVB, but they must not forget that Daniel Levy is renowned as a shrewd business man come the window.
The man that masterminded the sales of out of form Crouch and Palacios to Stoke for 15 million (the latter of which is settled on the bench at his new home) prefers to run the club as a business rather than a game of Football Manager. Last January Tottenham fans were in outrage with the inadequate signings of Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen on frees, so they will be hoping for big things this time around. Therefore it came as a shock when Spurs agreed a 22 million record fee for Moutinho in August, their current record being 16.75 million paid for Luka Modric.
As well as a player who can link midfield and strikers together, Spurs need another finisher. Defoe is a great player and natural finisher, but even he cannot play every game without feeling fatigue, or worse, injury. With Adebayor reportedly unhappy at Spurs, or injured as AVB claims, Levy needs to finally break the bank and buy two important players that can improve them upon Redknapp’s reign last season. Rather than loaning out players such as Bentley and Jenas, Spurs should look this January to shift their dead weight to raise funds for two big players if Levy insists on not opening his cheque book. Even the sale of club favourite Michael Dawson to QPR for 9 million would have been nearly half the needed funds for Moutinho.
As well as that, a striker is needed at White Hart Lane. Players of the upper echelon of world football such as Llorente, Falcao and Benzema would only realistically entertain the thought of joining a Manchester club or Chelsea. Tottenham should instead look to foreign young players such as Brazilian Leandro Damiao, who had a great Olympics in London, and has netted 73 in 121 appearances for Internacional. Playing for Sandro’s former club, he is a player who is surely due a move to Europe. Willian must also be on AVB’s radar after his impressive Champions League performance against Chelsea, but again he may be an option too expensive for Tottenham, and unnecessary if they capture Moutinho. However, another attacking player who seems the safer option for Levy and more likely for Spurs would be closer to home Wilfried Zaha, who is undoubtedly Premiership bound. Even Andy Carroll has recently emerged as a potential addition to Spurs’ strike force, a club that seems unlikely to pay 20 million plus for a foreign striker.
Read more Spurs transfer news
Either way, Tottenham’s ambition of a new era of football under AVB could face a stuttering start if they do not improve their squad. With the return of Dembele coming up, they seem to have one creative option through the middle. However, if they lose him or Defoe to injury come the New Year, it will be an uphill struggle to get Champions League football, especially with improvements to Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City’s squad. A creative central midfielder and 3rd strike option are needed for Spurs if they want to possibly improve upon their 4th place finish from last year, and their fans will hope this is finally the time when Levy breaks the bank.
What do Spurs fans think? Who would you like to see come to the club? Get involved in the comments section.
Fancy a flutter on the game? Claim your £10 welcome bonus at Sky Bet and enjoy some of the best match odds in the business.