As at 16:00hrs BST with just three days to go until transfer deadline day, Tottenham Hotspurs are yet to sign anyone! However, it’s not all doom and gloom in N17 as Spurs look forward to welcoming Premier league and European rivals to their new state-of-the-art Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Under the stewardship of Mauricio Pochettino Spurs have a stability and momentum to build on from the last three seasons coupled with his meticulous direction, it appears the only way is up.
At the start of the 2017/18 season Spurs lost one of the best right backs in the world in Kyle Walker, at the end of the season the effect of that loss was very minimal as Pochettino had turned the far less experienced Trippier into one of the best right-backs in the league.
There was all round scepticism at the time but it proved to be a masterstroke, with £50m to add to it which funded the arrival of Lucas Moura from PSG in January. Trippier had a stellar performance for England at the World Cup, he is one of the reasons Southgate had to go with 3-5-2 to accommodate both himself and Walker.
There is more hope than dismay at Spurs because they have a good manager in Pochettino who, in many ways is the ideal manager for Spurs. Pochettino doesn’t have the transfer kitty of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and more recently, Jurgen Klopp but he is more than determined to a make success out of what he has at his disposal along with the rich talent in the academy.
The limited time of this summer’s transfer window, the World Cup and the Mo Sissoko experience has also put Daniel Levy and Pochettino off panic buys, creating stability and chemistry in the current squad.
Tottenham undoubtedly need game-changing players with flair, hence the interest in Wilfred Zaha and Jack Grealish (more likely to land the latter than the former). The concern for Spurs is that the deep pockets of the premier league is ever increasing with Liverpool splashing over £150m on new signings. However, it will be tough to call if these new signings will improve them.
Spurs cannot compete with league rivals financially at present. The list below shows transfer net spend amongst top six clubs in the last three seasons:
1) MANCHESTER CITY – NET SPEND £398.71m
2) MANCHESTER UNITED – NET SPEND £315.08m
3) ARSENAL – NET SPEND £157.5m
4) LIVERPOOL – NET SPEND £141.06m
5) CHELSEA – NET SPEND £127.65m
6) TOTTENHAM – NET SPEND £41.3m
The weight of expectation is high, and rightly so being the undisputed top dogs in North London and the only London team competing in the Champions League this season. Since 2014 when Pochettino took the reigns, Spurs have finished fifth, third, second and third.
It is unfair to compare and set expectations against big spenders like City, United, Chelsea and now Liverpool. Tottenham’s results and strong league finishes puts them in the limelight for scrutiny.
Pochettino’s failure to end Spur’s ten year trophy drought is a concern and could suggest that he may have taken them as far as he can based on their transfer kitty. However, with another Champions League campaign and a new stadium to look forward to, Spurs fans can remain bullish compared to their rivals on Holloway Road who have to make do with a less fancied Europa League campaign.
Verdict: Top four finish
Femi Kumuyi (Twitter: @Ph3my) is an IT Consultant and a regular at White Hart Lane, he lives in London