Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:18

Spurs Halfway To The Perfect Summer

The emotional scars from two years ago remain. Gareth Bale departed, but it was on Daniel Levy and Spurs’ terms. They recouped a world-record fee for their stalwart. What happened afterwards still haunts them.
Seven players arrived for over £100million, of which Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli stand out as the successes amid a rabble of failures. Three have been sold this summer, with Roberto Soldado surely soon to follow. Question marks remain over Erik Lamela, but it’s obvious that Spurs have learnt their lessons from the summer of 2013.
While the likes of Southampton will rightfully accept the plaudits for another year of stellar work in the transfer market, Spurs’ business thus far has been impressive. Paulinho, Lewis Holtby, Etienne Capoue, Younes Kaboul, Benjamin Stambouli and Vlad Chiriches have been shed heading into the final month of activity. Between them, they made just 59 Premier League appearances last season. It’s been a masterclass in shifting the deadwood.
Passing them in the White Hart Lane arrivals and departures lounge are Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld. It’s been low key to say the least as Mauricio Pochettino looks to shore up a defence which conceded more league goals than Hull and as many as Burnley last season. A weakness has been identified and ruthlessly corrected. Not exactly the typical Spurs summer.
While the purchase of Wimmer seems likely to be one for the future with a couple of first-team opportunities thrown in, the additions of Trippier and, in particular, Alderweireld, have been excellent. Trippier will provide much-needed competition for Kyle Walker, while Alderweireld could well be the signing of the summer at just over £10million.
So with a month remaining, a problem area has been remedied with little fuss, key players such as Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris have been guarded (so far), and squad players have been sold, all for a profit of more than £10million. They’re halfway there.
Fans should rejoice at the recent links to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender. The 26-year-old is similar to Alderweireld in that he just feels like the perfect signing for the club. He may come with no Premier League nous, but Champions League and title-winning experience, ferocious aggression and pressing and excellent defensive skills mean Pochettino could have found the closest alternative to previous target Morgan Schneiderlin.
The next step is in attack. Not since that fabled summer of 2013 have Spurs purchased a forward-thinking player. It’s hard not to believe the club-record signing of Lamela still provides nightmares in one half of north London. The Argentinean may yet make a success of his spell in England, but time is running out.
Had Harry Kane not embarked on his incredible campaign last season, Spurs would have been in trouble. Only Charlie Austin (43%), Christian Benteke (42%) and Saido Berahino (37%) accounted for more of their side’s overall Premier League goals than the England international (36%).
Of course, the attacking side of things was very much a team game for Spurs in 2014/15. Only themselves and Manchester City could boast three separate players recording double-digit goal hauls in the Premier League last season as Chadli and Eriksen complemented Kane perfectly. Altogether more worrying is that the 22-year-old nearly doubled the strike-rate of his next closest team-mate, Chadli (21 to 11). Factor in all competitions, and that comparison becomes 31 goals to 13. To not sign competition or, at the very least, a competent back-up, is to place a huge weight on Kane’s still relatively unproven shoulders.
Spurs are very much halfway to completing the perfect summer transfer window. One major weakness has been corrected, but another casts a shadow over them. A first attacking signing in two years is in desperate need before the excellent work thus far all goes to waste.
Along with Southampton, they will likely be quietly content that Liverpool are heavily involved in discussions concerning breaking the current top four while the aforementioned two amount to little more than an afterthought. Just once in the last six seasons have Spurs finished below the Reds. Don’t be stunned if they make it six out of seven come May.
Matt Stead – follow him on Twitter here

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