Date: 17th May 2017 at 8:32am
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Let’s face it, it was only a matter of time before I ended up talking about potential transfers and targets. Sorry to those who are waiting for some good old fashioned nonsense, that’s a few weeks away but will be coming!

The article is pretty self-explanatory. What do you think is the most logical step for our club to take? Who, if anyone, do you think we could realistically bring in to improve what we currently have? Should we (the board/club) perhaps keep the cheque book in Mr Levy’s desk drawer because of the uncertainties as to how we’ll perform, or not perform at Wembley, thus maintaining funds for when we return to our new, but permanent home?

I honestly don’t know what is the best answer to any of that, which is why I’m glad I don’t have to make such decisions. It really can’t be easy to decide what the best course of action is!

The most obvious thing that springs to mind, is we literally cannot stand still. Nobody else will, so maybe I’ve actually inadvertently answered my own question there? I’ve already seen stories suggesting Antonio Conte will be given some £200mil to improve his current league winning crop of players, whilst we can also surely expect the likes of Man Utd, Man Citeh, Liverpool & maybe even Master Splinter, AKA Arsene Wenger, to be splashing similar amounts of money. But can we do the same?

Just for a second, let’s imagine that we can indeed make similar investments to improve upon what we currently have, who on earth could we possibly, realistically sign that would be better than what we have at our disposal right now? Before this season, I’d have happily taken a David Silva type of player, as we seemed bereft of such a creative & imaginative player. However, this season, Christian Eriksen has well and truly stepped up & has shown me he can do just as much as Silva does, but also works twice as hard. That said, if/when Eriksen gets injured, do we really have a viable alternative to step in and do a similar job? I honestly don’t know! So perhaps another intelligent, creative type of player is required? Then again, that would mean him or Eriksen would have to be happy to sit on the bench, which is not realistically likely.

Again, before this season, I thought Dembele didn’t offer us much. He didn’t create much, didn’t and doesn’t score enough goals, kept holding onto the ball for too long & was forever running down blind alleys, conceding possession. However, after a year of coaching by Poch and his staff, Dembele is a different animal altogether. He is unrecognisable from that frustrating player that we had before Poch took over. Even our old coaching staff were left frustrated by Dembele, with Les Ferdinand saying…

We used to say to him: ‘You’re the next person to go to Real Madrid, you’re the next guy to go to Real Madrid from this club.

‘He`s got great ability, yet you just don’t see enough of it. He leaves you frustrated because you know he’s got more and you want to see it. He can get forward. He’s got a great shot on him but you just never see it.’(full article HERE).

As I said, though, Mousa is a whole different beast now. He’s been nothing short of brilliant & thanks must go to Poch and his coaching team, as they’ve made him realise the potential he always had. So, with Dembele, Wanyama, Dier, Eriksen, Alli, Son, and also Lamela (remember him?), are we really in need of anything else in midfield? Who on earth could we sign that would not only be better than those guys, but would also be willing to come to THFC?

Defence – As covered in another article, it does appear that Walker is off. I’d imagine that would mean we really do need another RB? Or has Poch and his staff seen something in one of our talented youngsters? Again, who would be a realistic & viable option for us to sign?

I don’t think we need to concern ourselves in the CB department? The 2 first choices speak for themselves, Alderweireld & Vertonghen ARE the best CB pairing in the league, full stop! Of course, Dier can also slot in there & is a bloody good option. Then there’s Wimmer, who we’ve not seen a great deal of but, when he’s been called upon, he’s been pretty damn solid for someone in their first year in the country. I guess the actual question when it comes to Wimmer is, will he be happy to stay, or will he want to move on so he can get regular games under his belt? I think we’d be crazy to let him go, but we can’t keep him if he does want to. An unhappy player is not what this squad accommodates! You’re either happy to be part of it, or you’re shown the door. Poch has made that perfectly clear for everyone & I think he’s absolutely spot on.

What about the LB department? I’ll probably get pelted for this, but I firmly believe that no other club in the league has 2 better LB options than we do at THFC. I spent years on here championing Danny Rose, whilst others proclaimed him as ‘will never be good enough.’ Well I’m not one to blow my own trumpet but, paaaaarrrrppp. There’s a reason Man Citeh are linked with Rose, as well as Walker, it’s because he’s bloody good! Then there’s Davies. He is to Rose, what Trippier is to Walker. Both Rose & Walker are fast and athletic, and will bomb up and down the line for 90 minutes. However, end product can often be a glaring issue, though Rose is still streets ahead of Walker in that department. Rose ‘can’ put in a wicked delivery, he just doesn’t do it enough. With Trippier & Davies, it’s the flip side of the coin. Not as fast or athletic as Rose or Walker, but have more football intelligence & a better end product, in my opinion, of course. So, are we covered in the LB department?

I guess the just leaves the striker department. There’s no doubt about it at all, that Kane fella who ‘will never be good enough to play in the PL, let alone for THFC’ is absolutely the main striker & has earned the right to remain exactly that. But what about his competition? Does he have any? Is Janssen a busted flush? Or is he simply needing a bit of patience whilst he acclimatises to life in the UK and the Premier League? I can’t answer that because I’ve never seen enough of the lad to be able to form any sort of opinion. His hold-up play is top notch, I have seen that much. However, a striker`s job is to score goals, so it’s over to Poch and his team, I guess?

Personally speaking, as great as Kane is (and he WILL get better) I’d love to see a ‘worldie’ come in. I have no idea who on earth we could possibly target, but finding and bringing in a truly world class striker would surely only be a good thing? Someone that could not only push Kane for his spot, but also teach him a thing or two along the way. That can’t be a bad thing!

So, what do you think? Should we sit on the cheque book & get the season at Wembley out of the way? Or should we do what appears to be a necessity & look for improvements because we can bet our Lilywhite butts that our opponents will absolutely be doing precisely that? Over to you – COYS


23 Replies to “What Next? Who Next?”

  • Said it for a while but I think we need to buy a right footed Jan Vertonghen. When we play 3 at the back Jan is the guy that opens up teams as nobody is expecting him to bring the ball out and that stretches teams. On the right of Toby we don’t have the same impact. Dier has done a job but his best position is in midfield. I can see exactly why Poch was after Musacchio a couple of seasons back and wonder whether we should go back in for him. Otherwise, someone like Michael Keane has the runway in front of him and played brilliantly for England in a 3 man defence. I understand people rate Carter-Vickers, but for me me I’m unsure it is his time yet. I think our squad needs another ball playing centre half and natural cover for Toby. Dier has had his challenges in a 4 man defence and made mistakes but could improve given time.

    Also, I’ve said this a lot as well, we should be after Ross Barkley. He would be absolutely fantastic under Poch. Think 5 years down the line and he would be a stalwart lily-white. I doubt Alli will be which is why I would buy Barkley now and throw him into the mix with our other talented midfielders.

  • Its a little difficult to answer the question without knowing what Pochettino has planned for developing players next season. He has already identified a few who will get more game time and there’s no point buying anyone who will just be a road block. We could lose Wimmer this summer simply because he’s not playing. I’d like to see a bit more pace in the squad. At the moment Son is really the only attacking player with any speed, makes it difficult to play on the counter in games you don’t dominate. While I’m still hoping Janssen will come good I wouldn’t mind a bit of insurance, so if a striker with premier league experience becomes available at a reasonable price then I’d be interested even if he hasn’t many years left at the top level. As far as strikers go the idea we can afford anyone better than Kane is frankly ridiculous, pure fantasy, we should just be grateful we have him. Can’t really comment on the right back situation until you know whether or not Walker is really leaving, also how highly does Poch rate Walker Peters ?

  • I think Spurs play better with a back 3, so for me an additional centre back is crucial to play along side Toby & Jan. Van Dijk of Southampton would be ideal, tall strong and can play the ball out. Next would be Mahrez of Leicester and my 3rd signing would be Patrik Schick of Sampdoria (reminds me of a young Berbatov). Lets say those three will cost £90m so sell Sissoko, hopefully to a rich Chinese club, Janssen can also go and it looks like Walker wants to leave – that should recoup enough of the £90m.
    Do we then look to sign another right wing back or put our trust in young Walkers-Peters?

  • Obviously there will be a great deal of speculation and discussion on who we should add to the squad next season. No matter how good a prospect might be in terms of skill and football nous there is one thing we should remember; Mauricio has said he only wants players with a good attitude and personality, and a good squad mentality. Players with an overinflated ego need not apply! Good on ya, boss!

  • It depends on whether MP will be moving on from Sissoko and Janssen after just one season or not. But I’d say that a creative attacking midfielder to cover for Eriksen, and a backup striker who can score would be top of the list.

  • Legend23 – So you sell one striker who we brought in from abroad with no premier league experience after a year and replace him with another striker brought in from abroad with no premier league experience ? Repeating the same actions and expecting different results is one definition of madness.

  • Hi Jod, valid point, but not every player purchased from a foreign league will struggle and to suggest only signing players with Premiership experience as fool proof. That doesn’t always work as you only need to look at Sissoko. I personally think that Janssen is a decent player, but there are better options available. Im a season ticket holder and watching Janssen play, I would say he is a 6 out of 10 on most attributes, but nothing stands out.
    For every foreigner that flops in England, there is a Bergkamp, Berbatov, Van Der Vart, Klimsmann, Costa, Hazard, Suarez, Zola, Ronaldo, Lloris etc etc…

  • jod … I agree with you up to a point but it’s not the same actions …. no two players are the same. Could be a diamond, could be a stone.

  • I think with Premiership players you know more what you are getting. Which normally means you are going to overpay for a decent player. Look at Walker, he’s good but is he worth £40m?
    If you look at Monaco and Sidibe, I think he looks a much better player than Walker and probably half the price. But then he will need to adapt which could take time.
    I think Spurs are different now to previous teams down the years as we are no longer looking for that one player to push us on. We have our system, our philosophy, our starting eleven and if we can get a player or two that can step in and improve us then great. But we won’t be breaking the bank and paying top wages.

  • Legend23 – Virtually every player we have brought from abroad in recent years has taken time to adjust. Even Eriksen, who settled quicker than most, played much better in his second season. N’koudou has spoken about what a shock coming to English football was. The problem is probably worse now than in the past because the premier is really the only competitive league left. Bayern are totally dominant in Germany, juventus in Italy etc. Even going back in time Bergkamp actually spoke about how difficult he found it when he first came to England. History tends to be rewritten later once a player has adjusted and made the grade, the initial struggles are forgotten about. There is always the risk of course that the player never adapts, Soldado for instance. That’s what the premium for premier league experience is about, it significantly reduces the risk. Everyone on this site said we shouldn’t buy Sissoku, we knew what to expect we just don’t understand why the club didn’t.

  • We are building something here. We cannot just concern ourselves with what we have now, but we do need to think about what we will have in 2 years’ time. In 2 years’ time, Dembele & Vertonghen will be 32, Toby will be 30. So ask yourselves again, are we sorted at CB? If Wimmer stays and plays, and CCV steps up, then maybe. If not, then we need to look at that position now. Dembele needs replacing soon too. Winks did great, but I do feel that we need either Sissoko to step up, or to sign another CM. Janssen is the right age to develop into a top EPL player. He may actually do a Bergkamp (pardon my language) and go from being a goal machine in Dutch league to a more support striker player in EPL, given time. We do also need more pace, whether it is N’Jie, N’Koudou or N’Someone else….!

  • Tony – if Janssen can ever come close to producing the sheer moments of magic that Bergkamp was capable of, I’ll be more than happy!

  • jod – how do you explain that plenty of clubs seem to find players who can hit the ground running in the PL, despite coming from abroad? Southampton seem to do well at this. Wanyama, Alderweireld and Van Dijk all performed well from day 1 coming from abroad. This Gabriel Jesus kid at City is doing it, as is Sane. Coutinho was a star from day one coming from Inter. In another wage range, Ibrahimovic hasn’t done too badly. True quality always shines through, no matter the league. But you have to be prepared to pay the wages and/or offer something compelling (like CL football).

  • I think for once Spurs have the luxury where we can sign a player, and phase them into the team for once. The question is will Spurs pay the money to buy the end product at present?

    What we are able to offer is the chance to play at the top end of the table and Champions League to up and coming players that the other so called big teams won’t take a risk on. Look back on our previous heroes – We got Modric because the big teams thought he was too small the play in the Premier League, we got Berbatov as he was too laid back, we got Bale as he was too young, Van Der Vart as he had past injury issues, even Dele Ali, Liverpool said it was too much for an 18 year old playing League 1.
    If they dont work out, its no huge loss as we sell them and buy another up and coming player.

  • …well Bale wasn’t too young as Arsenal snapped up Walcott and Ox Chamberlain both from Southampton at the same age as Bale. The reason that Citeh and Liverpool get the successes is because they sign more players full stop, and then they write off losses on the failures. You forget about the Balottellis, Bentekes etc, and remember the Mane’s and Coutinhos. It is a numbers game. When you are trying to find a new striker, you should sign 2. Liverpool kicked off the previous season with 5 or so strikers, and moved on the 2 that failed (Benteke, Balottelli). We sign one at a time: Soldado or Janssen, and they end up not scoring unless the ball is stationary, 12 yards from the goal, with only the keeper on the goal line to beat!

  • Left Back for Davies, not good enough. Right back for Walker if he leaves, Tripp as first choice. A midfielder in the mould of Dembele. An attacking player in the mould of Hazard/Coutino and a striker = champions.

  • BelgianSpur – Would you be happy performing at the level Southampton are ? Or do you have some hidden source of funds that would enable us to pay the transfer fees and wages City are ? (that awkward question where does the money come from again). If the answer to both is no your comment is pretty much irrelevant.

  • jod – Southampton’s performance as a whole depends on more than just how one or 2 players are performing. It could easily be argued that any of their strikers would improve our squad, as would Van Dijk, and this despite their club as a whole performing worse. You can find very good players at smaller clubs, but if you don’t build a squad around them, the club will struggle. You conveniently pick out City to prove your point, but look at the other names. Coutinho first arrived in the PL making about 70k per week from Inter. Look at Leicester and Mahrez. How mich did he cost? His original contract was worth less than 30k per week. First full season and he wins player of the year. Look at Kante. All of those players we could have easily afforded, all of them came from abtoad and all of them hit the ground running. Where are your excuses now?

  • I am with Belgian on the foreign player issue. Jod, no point citing Southampton’s league position. They really have done well discovering gems from UK and abroad. That’s why many of those have been bought by Liverpool, United and even us. I had thought once we nicked their chief scout, we too will be unearthing those future stars. I was a fan of Dembele junior when he was at Fulham. Shame that our alleged deal for him fell through. The big guns are looking at him now, I thought he ticked all the boxes for Poch’s philosophy. I personally think if Walker leaves and add the money from Bentaleb and Fazio + a.n. other from the fringe sale, there should be enough in the pot to buy 3 players that could give us the desired depth. Let’s also see how many, if any, get promoted from the academy.

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