There is no doubt about it; Spurs are facing a pivotal pre-season if their squad is to achieve its full potential.
With the league now surely out of reach and another trophyless season beckoning, the club must first hang on it’s star performers, including Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and the incomparable Dele Alli.
Then, manager Mauricio Pochettino must spend wisely to add variety, depth and experience to a uniquely talented squad that has stood motionless on the verge of greatness for the last two years.
A Case for the Defence: Why Pochettino Must Work Hard to Retain His Stars
Pochettino will certainly need to pick his battles carefully when striving to retain players this summer. Although Spurs have no need to sell with Champions League revenue and an ongoing share of the EPL’s record £5.136 billion television deal to bank, there are bound to be one or two stars whose heads are turned by interest from Europe’s leading clubs. With this in mind, Pochettino must decide which players are central to his plans and who can be replaced going forward.
As talented as players such as Kyle Walker are, for example, there are a plethora of quick and attack-minded right backs who could fill the void at White Hart Lane (Fabinho at Monaco, anyone?). The same way of thinking can be applied to others too, and Pochettino must not be distracted by retaining players that can be relatively easily replaced. Instead, he must focus his efforts on retaining true icons like Harry Kane, along with uniquely talented and creative stars like Eriksen (and most importantly) Alli.
How Should Spurs Look to Improve the Squad?
The last summer transfer window proved to be largely unsuccessful for Spurs, who spent nearly £60 million without genuinely improving their squad. Dutch forward Vincent Janssen has struggled to acclimatize to the EPL following his move from AZ Alkmaar, for example, while the £30 million man Moussa Sissoko has struggled for game-time in Spurs’ already powerful and athletic midfield. Pochettino can ill-afford a repeat this summer, so he must spend with a view to building squad depth while diversifying the skills already at his disposal.
Spurs undoubtedly need a deep-lying play-maker, who can help to unlock packed defences at home and afford them a different option in midfield. The club have even been linked with Manchester United veteran and former player Michael Carrick, who would fill this role perfectly while bringing some much needed experience, pedigree an a winning mentality to the party.
The club also need more options in attack, regardless of whether or not they retain Janssen for another season. A quick and agile forward in the mould of Kylian Mbappe would serve as the perfect foil for Kane, while his ability to operate in wide areas would also help Spurs to make the most of playing at Wembley next year. Both Mbappe and his French teammate Anthony Martial have been linked with the club, but whether Spurs have the spending power to sign these players has yet to be seen.
The Bottom Line: Why This Summer Will Make or Break Spurs
It is incredible to think that despite being the brightest and most consistent team in England over the last two years, Spurs have not won a domestic honour. Not only this, but their less impressive rivals will have continued to earn silverware during the same period, with Manchester United expected to complete a cup double this season and claim their third trophy in 12 months despite being in transition.
This summer is therefore pivotal for Spurs, who boast some incredibly talented players and have the best squad that the club has produced in an entire generation. Only by hanging on to its star players and adding depth and diversity to the playing squad can Spurs go on to fulfil their potential, and make the difficult transition from being contenders to proven winners.