The last week of the January transfer window; a traditional time for Spurs supporters to feel uneasy. This year for once, there aren’t any worries about who might leave (unless something mad happens with Hugo Lloris), and instead we are focused on one position; the strikers.
In the summer we thought we had it figured out; Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado would share the majority of the starts, and then Harry Kane would mop up any remaining game time, such as the early stages of the Europa League. It’s fair to say that the depth chart has been turned on its head since then.
So how do we stand now? Well buying a new striker depends on a few things:
1) Is there someone out there who would improve us as a team?
There’s been plenty of talk about Burnley’s Danny Ings, or Roma’s Mattia Destro. I would favour a player who’s already experienced in the Premier League and is adept at leading the line, and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke meets that criterion too. The problem is that teams will not let their main striker go unless the bid is out of this world (e.g. Andy Carroll); is there someone out there that is worth spending huge money on?
2) What about the existing players?
Whether we buy someone or not, I would hope that it’s Pochettino making the final decision. There’s a chance that he believes he can work with what we have because in terms of numbers, three strikers is enough for the system that we play. While you can’t believe everything you read, it seems that there have been a number of bids for both Soldado and Adebayor, but they were not acceptable to either the club or the player. It is hard to see Levy adding another player into this mix without an outgoing move, and I doubt that Pochettino would want to bloat the squad anyway by adding a fourth frontman.
I believe that Pochettino will back his own man-management skills and work with what he has; Adebayor has only recently returned to the squad and we know that the talent is there, if not always the application. It’s about time we saw some results in exchange for such a weekly wage, and if there isn’t another club willing to take him on right now, we may as well get him on the field and tell him to prove that he’s worth such an outlay.
The club are in an interesting situation right now. Since Pochettino signed we all knew that we were in for a transitional season, where players are analysed to see if they can be part of what the Argentine is building. Some have stepped up, others haven’t, but yet even amongst this upheaval, the team is still in a competitive place in the league as well as the cup competitions. Could one or two signings make the difference and push the team ahead of schedule? If they believe they have found someone who can do that, I would advise Levy to forego his usual financial contortions and get the deal done. If, however, there isn’t anyone available, we should stick to the long-term plan and continue to build piece by piece.
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