The last thing that Tottenham need
This coming Sunday will mark the end of an era for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, the final curtain call for a venue that has been their home for over a century now. White Hart Lane will forever be synonymous with Spurs and their move to a site adjacent to the current ground will hopefully re-invigorate rather than revolutionise the traditions of the club.
This has already been a record season for the north Londoners, their highest points tally already achieved and a positive result against Manchester United will secure a second place finish for the first time in the Premier League era. Despite coming so close yet again, 2016-17 should be remembered as the dawning of a new era for Spurs, one which could well provide the foundations for the years ahead (quite literally in some respects). Mauricio Pochettino has assembled a crop of young, fiercely competitive and ambitious individuals that look set to take this club onto the next level.
Envious eyes will no doubt be cast on this squad in the coming months, and if Spurs want to match off-field ambitions with footballing success they need to keep their biggest assets. The likelihood is that they will; and if they don’t it will be on their terms and not the suitor’s. Spurs have shrewdly committed the majority of their ‘key’ players to long-term deals, with Levy believed to be working on contracts for the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli in the coming weeks as well. Contracts are hardly binding in modern football, but what they do ensure is an above value price for players. For instance if a club were to acquire either Dele Alli or Harry Kane they can expect to be breaking world transfer records in the process.
If Spurs can hold onto their best players, what is the next step after that?
It has been widely suggested that Spurs need a star, that final piece to the jigsaw, a match winner. The likes of Paulo Dybala and Isco have already been mentioned in various media outlets, but in all likelihood this would be an ill-advised strategy for Spurs.
This Spurs side is by far the best ‘team’ that they have assembled in recent decades, the beauty being that there is no inherent star. Tottenham sides of the past have been made by the individual; think Ginola, Berbatov, Modric and Bale in recent years. Yet amongst this current crop, there are far fewer truly indispensable players. Kane is about the only irreplaceable asset at the moment, and that is largely down to Spurs’ scant options in the forward department. Alli is one of the great young talents of his generation, but he is far more replaceable than say Luka Modric was in Harry Redknapp’s Champons League chasing Spurs side.
Instead Spurs must balance maintaining their approach with careful additions of experience. Barkley, Keane and Zaha would be welcome embellishments, but so too would someone in the Michael Carrick mould. Whether he would be welcomed back to Spurs is another question, but a character and role model with proven Premier League experience is a must in the coming transfer window. Premier League ‘winning’ experience is the characteristic that Spurs so crucially need to add.
So no, Spurs emptying their pockets and breaking world transfer records is the last thing that they will need this summer. Instead a careful continuation of the good work that has been done under Pochettino along with some much needed experience could well be the formula to catapult Tottenham into a title winning force in the coming years.
Who do you think Tottenham need to sign this Summer?