Article by Rory Thompson
Despite trying to remain positive, the fact that Spurs signed no-one in the transfer window has outraged and disheartened fans. Especially when other clubs in the top 6 have strengthened, in particular Liverpool, solving their problem positions.
The Summer started with fans being told by the media that there was £150million to spend and Pochettino stating that the board needed to be brave. Most fans dreamed of a Bale return but knew that wholesale improvements were not needed. Realistically only signing one or two players, as long as one was a reliable back up for Kane, would have been good business. However, as transpired, no additions were made and any serious injuries could derail the good progress that Spurs have made in the past three years.
If the fans were told from the beginning that due to the new stadium being built, Pochettino would have to sell before he bought, at least it would have been honest. There are players at Spurs who unfortunately just aren’t good enough to be at a team challenging for the title. Llorente, Sissoko, N’Koudou and Janssen have all shown that despite their best efforts, they are not of the same quality of the players around them.
Spurs were linked with several players in the window: Sessegnon, Grealish, Zaha and Martial to name a few. The nearest to getting a move was Grealish, a player for the future, and he may still make his move to the Premiership either in January or next Summer. Although, the fact that Daniel Levy offered £3million and Onomah for Grealish shows just how he does business. This is something that will need to alter if Spurs are going to realistically challenge for the title. There are constant reminders of how much TV money is being given to clubs and the fact that all other teams made at least 3 signings, including seeing a promoted team spend over £100 million, has just furthered the worry that Spurs will not be able to keep up with the race for the top 4 this season, let alone challenge for the title.
A good addition would have been Zaha. He was rumoured to cost £75million which, whilst that would have been a great gamble, would have been too much for Levy to fork out. However, seeing other teams break world and club records has caused some fans to question whether or not Levy’s way of business is going to be detrimental to the success of the club. The £75 million could have been raised if Spurs had sold Llorente, Sissoko, N’Koudou and Janssen or even swapped Zaha for any of the players they wanted plus money.
Some fans have asked why buy players who won’t get in to the first team, but every team can be improved. City went and bought Mahrez, Liverpool bought Alisson, Arsenal bought Torreira, Chelsea have bought Jorginho and United have brought in Fred. Most of these players have been brought in to solve problem areas for their team and this should enable them to make better progress next season.
However, there are some signs of positivity from the transfer window. So far, Spurs have not sold any first team players. Hopefully the Alderweireld contract situation will be resolved and he will stay for a few more years. Even if he doesn’t stay beyond this season, he can form part of the best back three in the league for the upcoming campaign. Danny Rose should build his form to what it was two years ago when he was one of the best in the league, if not the world. Finally, it was excellent to keep Dembele, despite potentially losing him for free at the end of next season, his talent is undeniable and he may be able to show Winks or Amos how to play in his style.
However, if the squad can stay injury free then Pochettino may get some backing in the January window, especially as some players may be closer to becoming a ‘free agent’ and therefore cheaper, the sort of player Levy likes.