The Premier League season gets underway on the 11th August, with the transfer window closing at the earlier date of the 9th August, meaning there will be no final day of August drama for Daniel Levy and co as all business will have to be done and dusted before the season starts. So, who will the Tottenham strike-force consist of come the 11th August?
Harry Kane’s contract guarantees the fact that he will lead the forward line as first choice striker for Spurs next term. His £200,000-per-week contract surprised many as the former wage structure was torn up in the process. Kane’s 41 goals in 48 appearances last term proved crucial in guiding Tottenham to a top four finish for the third consecutive season. If we can be sure of one thing for next season, it is that Harry Kane will be first choice striker for Mauricio Pochettino.
All good strikers need effective and efficient backup. Or at least you would think so anyway. The backup provided for Kane has been below par in the past couple of seasons to say the least, and surely it is an area of the squad that needs urgent attention. With two other strikers on the books at the moment, shall Spurs stick or twist going into next season?
Vincent Janssen was brought in as a young and hungry alternative option to Kane, and the signing on paper looked to be an impressive one for £17m from AZ Alkmaar. The Dutchman had fired in an impressive 31 goals in all competitions spread over 49 appearances for AZ and some of those were sublime. As we quickly learned, Janssen’s game is centred around holding the ball up, bringing others into play. His debut came in the opening day 1-1 draw at Everton, where he saw his effort from just a few yards out saved on the line, my feeling is that his confidence took its first big hit at this moment.
Mauricio Pochettino was feeling experimental against Crystal Palace. He played both Kane and Janssen up top in the 1-0 win. Not the perfect partnership judging by those 90 minutes, but it had potential. Janssen’s opportunity to impress came when Kane was injured in mid-September, and the striker led the line for the next few weeks. Despite getting involved heavily in the build-up play, Janssen struggled to find the back of the net and this dry spell continued for the whole season as his confidence took a severe hit over this period. The 24-year-old netted just once from open play in the Premier League and once from open play in the FA Cup against Millwall.
Omission from the 2017-18 Champions League squad seemed to signal the end for Janssen, but a loan move to Fenerbache last September appeared to be one final chance to impress with the potential to revive his Premier League career. However, his season in the Turkish league has been nothing more than average. 17 appearances in all competitions has yielded just five goals for Janssen in what has been an injury hit season. Although he is a favourite of mine and there is nothing more I would like to see than him succeed at Tottenham, it looks more likely than ever that Janssen will be moved on this summer.
That leaves us with last summer’s striking signing Fernando Llorente, who has failed to make the desired impact in North London since arriving from Swansea. Best known for his headed goals and role as a target man, the signing seemed a little puzzling when I looked past his impressive goalscoring record in the Premier League.
Llorente has mainly been used from the bench this season, mostly when the team has been locked in a stalemate or when the team have been chasing the game going into the final minutes. I fully support the idea of throwing on a target man when chasing the game, but if you are going to do it, at least play the man’s strengths! Otherwise, it is simply a wasted substitution. Quite a few times this season, Llorente has been thrown on with minutes to go and we simply haven’t delivered decent quality balls into the box. This is partly why I feel sorry for Llorente, as Spurs simply do not play to his strengths.
As with Janssen, the partnership with Kane was experimented with at one of the toughest places to visit in Europe, the Bernabéu. It proved to be effective as Kane and Llorente linked up well, with Llorente winning all of the knockdowns and first balls as Kane played just behind to benefit from the knockdowns. A 1-1 draw and a point was earned with the potential for this partnership to be developed.
However, as the season has drawn on, the more and more Kane and Llorente play together, the more and more they seem to get in each other’s way, the understanding doesn’t seem to be there. Playing up front on his own hasn’t been much more effective for Llorente. Scoring in a 2-0 away win at his former club Swansea proved to be the Spaniard’s only Premier League goal of the season and a hat-trick against Rochdale in the FA Cup is something Llorente hasn’t been able to build on thus far. Does Llorente have a future at Spurs? I would argue no. He has failed to strike a good partnership with Harry Kane and doesn’t have the desired impact playing up front on his own, with just five goals in all competitions last season.
In answer to the original question, to stick or to twist, I would argue that Spurs should have one last role of the dice in terms of signing a new striker. Ante Rebic, who can play both out on the left and as a striker, has been a name thrown around by Spurs fans following his performances for Croatia at the World Cup, would he be a realistic target?
On Friday, Tottenham broke the news that star striker Harry Kane signed a new and improved contract at White Hart Lane, tying the striker down until 2024 at least. The news not only confirms that the Englishman will not be moving on to pastures new this summer, it also indicates something extremely significant.
Spurs Chairman Daniel Levy didn’t negotiate some of the most impressive deals in football without being stubborn and standing his ground. Widely renowned for being one of the worst people to deal with off the field, Levy has often taken the same, stubborn approach to internal matters, especially when it comes to the subject of player wages.
Smaller basic wages, boosted by sizeable performance-related bonuses, in theory, seems like a sensible way of paying the modern footballer, especially when you consider the fact that some players struggle to find motivation nowadays, as hard as that is to believe. Despite this, Spurs are one of the few clubs to adopt this strategy, and please note that the performance-related incentives are thought to be quite tasty in North London.
The wage structure at Tottenham has been a hot topic for discussion in the past year, and not only amongst fans. Danny Rose openly criticised the wage structure at the start of last season, who was thought to be earning £65,000-per-week at the time. Hugo Lloris was the top earner with £120,000 (including bonuses), followed by Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen on £100,000-per-week. Surprisingly, Moussa Sissoko was reported to be on £95,000-per-week (what?!!). The question of how Tottenham would keep hold of their best players with such a wage structure was presented to Daniel Levy on many occasions. Bonuses appeared to be the answer to a searching question.
Kane’s new deal will see him trouser £200,000-per-week including bonuses, destroying the wage structure that was in place at Spurs just a few days ago. The catalyst for change is the man behind Spurs’ recent Premier League success, Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine held crunch talks with Chairman Levy following the conclusion of the Premier League season, and these have seemed to have had the desired effect. The former Saints boss has emerged with a new contract for himself, the dismissal of the old wage structure, and an increased transfer budget of £200m for this summer. With negotiation skills like that, you would be forgiven for believing that Pochettino was in line to succeed Daniel Levy as Chairman at Tottenham Hotspur.
The new contract for Harry Kane could be a historic moment in the history of Tottenham Hotspur. The start of a new era. The end of an era where Tottenham couldn’t financially compete with the rest of the big six, an era where Tottenham built up a reputation for selling their best players and an era plagued with mediocrity, although this has changed in recent years. Next season, Tottenham move into a world class 61,000- seater stadium, and it seems that Daniel Levy is taking significant steps to transform Spurs into a consistent title-challenging side. Therefore, don’t be surprised if we see new contracts over the summer for the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, and don’t be too shocked if Spurs were to make a couple of big-money signings before the season starts on 11th August.
This report shows the Tottenham player’s wages – though we are not sure how accurate they are, they are certainly interesting and worth a look.
Tottenham’s reputation of cashing in on top players at the club is a reputation that has not died with successive top four finishes in the eyes of some. However, I believe the club is past this stage.
Take the sale of Kyle Walker last summer. Some fans were serious when the news broke that the Yorkshireman had been sold to this season’s champions for a hefty £50m. ‘Same old Levy’ and ‘same old Tottenham’ were some of the cries as we watched another top-class player leave North London.
Unfair criticism it turned out to be in my view. Although Kyle Walker wanted to leave Tottenham, according to the Independent, his mind was made up as a result of an ongoing dispute with manager Mauricio Pochettino over fitness. As mentioned in that Independent article, Pochettino doubted Walker’s ability to play two games in one week, something the right-back disagreed with strongly at the time.
The decision to sell the player seemed to be best for both parties. Spurs got their £50m and Walker got to start a fresh with a different manager that maybe doesn’t doubt his fitness in the way Pochettino did. Although it can be viewed as a mistake selling to a direct rival and strengthening their team, the decision seemed to be the correct one to sell Walker. The situation is similar with Toby Alderweireld.
Tottenham had been keen to tie Alderweireld down to a new deal before the end of last season, but negotiations have been in deadlock for some time now. If the player was that keen to sign, he surely would have done so by now.
It has been a frustrating season for the Belgian defender. Not only has he had a couple of fairly lengthy spells out of action due to injury, but he has also seen himself kept out of the team by the solid and effective centre-back partnership of Jan Vertonghen and newcomer Davinson Sanchez. Due to the contract stalemate? Or due to the stellar performances of the pair mentioned before? This is an issue up for debate.
Nonetheless, without Alderweireld, the defensive unit has performed efficiently and effectively over this season, is the Belgian still the integral part of the defence as he once was? Or have we evolved as a team? If the answer to the latter is yes, £50m would be a healthy sum to sell to Manchester United for. However, we are left with the issue of strengthening a direct rival. This is something that needs to be considered carefully by the coaching staff at Spurs, but why not cash in on a player that doesn’t want to commit his long-term future to the club?
With Toby Alderweireld seemingly on his way out of Tottenham and Manchester United allegedly in talks, Mauricio Pochettino should look to get a player or two involved in the deal. There’s a wealth of talent at United that Mourinho is not currently utilising, and several of these players I feel could thrive under Pochettino. Here’s 3 I think we should try to involve in negotiations.
1 – Anthony Martial
Martial is an incredible player but he clearly cannot thrive under Mourinho, who is stunting his talent growth. The youngster ends up playing as a left wing back at times for United when he should be playing in an advanced wide left position or even through the middle.
In an attack in combination with the likes of Kane and Alli, with Pochettino’s forward-thinking philosophy, Martial could have the platform to realise his huge potential. Considering his current situation I think this move could certainly appeal to Anthony.
Since bursting onto the scene as a teenager, Harry Kane has developed into an incredible asset for Spurs, and it is no surprise that his immense qualities as an out-and-out striker have attracted interest from leading clubs across Europe. Kane has been continually linked with a switch to Real Madrid for the last 12 months, but is a big-money transfer to the Bernabéu a dead cert? And what can Spurs do to keep him at the club this summer?
Harry Kane has already cemented his place as one of the Premier League’s greatest strikers after scoring 39 goals in just 36 games during a single calendar year in 2017 to break Alan Shearer’s long-standing record. The 24-year-old has netted 134 times in 204 appearances since 2011 and is close to moving into the top five all-time goalscorers for the club. His legacy is already assured, but it would be a shame if Spurs don’t hold on to Kane during his peak playing years.
The greatest assets that Spurs have in their quest to keep Kane in North London is the move to a new stadium next season. The prospect of leading the line for the club in the “world class sports and entertainment destination” will be a huge pull for Kane as he would be an integral part of a glorious new era for Spurs. Being a local lad, he may regret moving on to pastures new without pulling on the famous white shirt in the 62,062-capacity arena.
In addition to exciting off-the-field changes, Spurs can also entice Kane to stay on by lifting the FA Cup trophy in May. A tough semi-final clash with Manchester United awaits in the last four, but there is a feeling that the current side has matured enough to take the next step on its journey by lifting domestic silverware. It has been ten years since Spurs won a trophy – the League Cup – and the club is now in a much stronger position compared to when it defeated Chelsea at Wembley back in 2008.
Mauricio Pochettino has been a revelation during his time at White Hart Lane, but he will be eager to support the vast improvements that he has made with a trophy or two to really show that Spurs have arrived and mean business. The FA Cup would be a perfect signal of intent ahead of moving to the new home in the coming months. It may be enough to show Kane that he can land the biggest honours here rather than moving abroad or up north to Manchester.
It would be disingenuous to suggest that Kane is the sole reason for the club’s recent success as he has been ably supported by a talented core of players, including Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembélé and Jan Vertonghen, so the impact of bringing in new signings to tempt Kane to stay is questionable, though adding more quality will only benefit Spurs ahead of the 2018/19 season. Regardless of Kane’s future, placing a bet with Stakers.com on Spurs will still offer great value moving forward.
There were also reports at the start of the year that Tottenham were ready to pay Kane £200,000 a week to ward off interest from other clubs. The striker denied that talks about a new contract had taken place but stated his desire to finally “go through to the final and win a trophy.” That dream, coupled with the stadium switch, may just be enough to ensure that Kane remains for at least another 12 months.
Tottenham have had an OK season so far. Although they sit outside the top four, the clubs improved European performance so far must be appreciated, and there’s still a chance they could finish in the top two of the Premier League, though the league title seems out of sight for everyone but Manchester City at the minute. In this article, we take a look at four players being strongly linked with a move to the club this month…
1 – Malcolm
Tottenham are said to be seriously interested in signing Bordeaux’s Brazilian striker Malcolm. Although reports that a £31million bid was rejected are said to be wide of the mark, Spurs’ interest is genuine, say Sky Sports.
Malcolm has scored 7 goals and assisted 4 in 18 Ligue 1 appearances this season. He’s a versatile attacker that would certainly add a much needed new dimension to Tottenham’s attack. His versatility means he could play alongside Kane and Alli or in place of them.
Tottenham have shown their superiority over Arsenal in recent derbies, and I expect this one to be no different. Spurs will be boosted by the fact that Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris are all likely to be passed fit for the fixture between the two sides. Here’s the XI I think we’re likely to see defeat the Gunners…
Goalkeeper: Hugo Lloris
Captain Hugo is likely to be back for this game, and he’ll certainly be welcomed back to the XI with Arsenal likely to test the keeper more than some of Spurs’ recent opponents.
Defence: Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, Jan Vertonghen
This back three worked well in the last fixture and with Alderweireld still sidelined, I expect to see a similar back three against the Gunners. Dier can, of course, step into midfield at any point in order to make a midfield five.
Midfield: Serge Aurier, Harry Winks, Moussa Dembele, Danny Rose
Aurier and Rose pick themselves in the eleven for me. I think we need both of their passion in this eleven and their attacking ability on the flanks. Winks and Dembele can form a great partnership in the middle of the park.
Attack: Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen
Alli, Kane and Eriksen as a front three has a bit of everything. Kane will surely score against Arsenal again, he always does. Alli can come inside and support the striker, whilst hopefully Eriksen can bring his incredible international form into the picture.
Tottenham have started the season fairly well, especially when you consider their much improved performance in the Champions League this season, with it now looking extremely likely that the club will get out of a very tough group. But how can Tottenham really reach new heights? For me they need to add World Class players. In this article I take a look at 4 players that could arrive.
1 – Gareth Bale
So Bale could really return to Tottenham. As much as Bale may like Spurs as a club, he is extremely unlikely to take a huge pay cut to come back, considering the offers he is likely to have on his plate and the fact that aged 28, his next contract is likely to be his last major deal. I’d think Spurs would need to offer in excess of £200,000 per week for Bale to even tempt him. It goes without saying that Spurs should do everything to make this happen as signing him would really take the club to the next level.
Can it really happen? The press might have you believe that Bale has said he will sign for Tottenham tomorrow, but let’s take a realistic look at the news.
However, there are some concrete rumours emerging from Spain that Madrid have lost patience with Bale’s recent injury woes and they are willing to offload him in the summer. Whilst Manchester United and probably every English club would be keen to sign Bale, Tottenham are the club he would like to sign for, if he does leave Madrid, according to the latest reports. But is this realistic?
The obvious problem arrives at the wages of Bale, whom is earning around three times as much as Tottenham’s current top earner. As much as Bale may like Spurs as a club, he is extremely unlikely to take a huge pay cut to come back, considering the offers he is likely to have on his plate and the fact that aged 28, his next contract is likely to be his last major deal. I’d think Spurs would need to offer in excess of £200,000 per week for Bale to even tempt him. The reality is that for all the brilliant management of Pochettino and the quality that Tottenham do already have, to move to the next level, Spurs need to invest into the team and to go to the next level they need to bring in some established World Class players, who better than Bale for this? He’s certainly worth a wage re-structure in my opinion.
In a world where money is overtaking football, Spurs need to start to take steps to ensure they are not left behind and signing Bale would be some statement to the world that Tottenham are here to stay amongst the best clubs in Europe – this is not a phase. Can we pull it off though? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one in the comments.