After crashing out of the FA Cup on penalties, Abbi Summers takes a look at the key areas Spurs must strengthen in the summer.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. At the time, going two transfer windows without a single signing seemed like a refreshing achievement, but it has proven costly for Spurs. We only needed a player or two a couple years back, but we now face an entire overhaul.
Champions League qualification is slowing slipping out of reach, we face an uphill battle in Leipzig next week and, after crashing out of the FA Cup last night to Norwich, Daniel Levy simply has to invest in the squad this summer. So, here are five positions Spurs MUST strengthen:
Lloris has been a great servant to the club, performing admirably for the most part of his tenure, and a new keeper won’t be top of our priority list, but his questionable decision-making when playing out from the back and poor distribution do ring alarm bells.
Lloris tends to even himself out over the course of the season. He’s a fantastic shot-stopper and has become well-known for his big-game penalty saves.
Number two Gazzaniga has filled in for large spells this season, and initially showed promise, but he’s not quite up to the mark. So this will be an area Spurs need to invest in with the future in mind.
In all honesty, our defence is miles from the sturdy powerhouse it once was. While he is a fan favourite, Vertonghen will depart this summer and, despite signing a new deal after years of graft, Alderweireld is also on his last legs.
He’s a Rolls-Royce defender, but individual errors and a lack of pace have meant the clumsy-yet-agile Sánchez has become a more viable option. Sánchez is learning to read games and looks far more composed than when he first signed – a definite improver since Mourinho took charge.
A potential partner for Sánchez at the back could be Tanganga, who’s just been tied down a new long-term contract. It’s clear Mourinho sees potential there.
Serge Aurier is another who’s improved under Mourinho. There’s no doubt he’s rash and lacks concentration at times, but behind the madness you occasionally see glimpses of a half-decent player.
Two new full-backs are a must after selling Trippier and Rose, and while Davies is inoffensive, he lacks the energy and skill required when playing high-tempo, attacking football.
Mousa Dembélé will go down as one of the most underrated players in Premier League history. His partnership alongside Victor Wanyama was our engine room.
They were so dominant in midfield and rid Spurs of the soft underbelly they had become known for. It allowed the attacking midfielders to flow and create. Sadly, the team has suffered from not replacing them adequately.
There are no players in our side who get stuck in and do the dirty work anymore, and although he splits fan opinion, Winks has the credentials to be a key part of the rebuild, if surrounded by the right players. There is no doubting his heart, and he gives 100% every time he wears the shirt. For me, that’s the type of player every team needs. Someone who just ‘gets it’.
From the snippets so far, I’ve no doubt Ndombele will be worth his price tag, if and when he gets fully fit. But he has to be dedicated to be at Premier League level. He also needs a partner who can help him out defensively so he can be freed up to use the vision we know he has.
It may sound harsh, and his journey thus far has been a great one, but despite all his power, Sissoko is not that partner.
Our shining light through this very depressing season has been Lo Celso. Stats will tell you he’s contributed zero goals and assists, but his ideas and technical ability to make the hard things look simple is exactly the type of player you want when filling Eriksen’s boots.
He has that Modrić air about him, and I believe he could’ve been the final piece of the puzzle to take us forward had he been signed earlier. It’s been a tough first season for him with injuries, but he’s someone we should be looking to rebuild around.
Aside from the obvious need for a back-up striker or two, we have wingers and attack-minded players galore when all fit and firing. Whether or not it’s time to cash-in on Dele is tricky. He does bring something different to the side, but you can sense his frustration without Kane to play behind.
Lucas is also something of an enigma. His conversion rate is seriously below par but his work rate can’t be faulted. Unfortunately, that doesn’t earn you three points.
It will be interesting to see if Kane will be part of Spurs’ rebuild, or if he will look for pastures new, but certainly keeping both him and Son at the club will be the most important part of Daniel Levy’s job this summer.