In recent seasons Tottenham have come close, but so far they’ve yet to reach the pinnacle of English football. Spurs are known for producing plenty of top class players, yet fail to achieve success, mainly due to spending much less than the rest of the top teams.
Tottenham are now in a place where money needs to be spent to strengthen their current team, which consists of young players that they have made into fantastic Premier League players. Their case is not being helped by the fact they are currently building a new stadium to replace the old White Hart Lane.
If the north Londoners are looking to win the Premier League within the next few seasons, reinforcements need to be acquired soon, otherwise much of their young talent will look elsewhere if their trophy drought continues.
The positions featured – that need upgrading more than most – include a player who would be a more ideal, but possibly more expensive, fit for the team and a cheaper yet similar alternative to suit Tottenham’s situation.
The biggest piece of the jigsaw missing from Mauricio Pochettino’s squad lies in the middle of the pitch.
Since Luka Modric’s exit, Tottenham have been lacking a maestro to keep things ticking over in the midfield. Neither Mousa Dembélé nor Moussa Sissoko are that type of player.
Harry Winks has shown his potential this season – especially in Tottenham’s 3-1 rout of Real Madrid – but at the tender age of 21, it is a bit early for him to become a regular player for a title-challenging team.
What’s needed is a consistent, catalytic player to complement a tougher, more defensive-minded Eric Dier.
Ideal Choice: Marco Verratti
The PSG midfielder is a creative, hard-working and technically-gifted playmaker who would improve Tottenham greatly.
However, the Italian is a key figure for the French club and is unlikely to be let go by a PSG who are making strides in their pursuit of reaching the holy grail of being European champions.
Alternative Choice: James Ward-Prowse
Ward-Prowse would suit Spurs as he has previously played under Pochettino at Southampton and would link up excellently with the English contingent at Spurs.
As he possesses many qualities that Veratti has, along with Premier League experience (compared to someone like Winks), the 23-year-old could become an influential player for Spurs. At the moment, he seems to be held back by a sub-par Southampton and has yet to be given a platform to reach his prime.
I know what you’re thinking, Tottenham already have one of the most coveted forwards in the world in Harry Kane.
But behind him in the pecking order, there’s a pretty average Fernando Llorente, who isn’t at the standard of a title-challenging team.
Someone who betters the 32-year-old in all aspects and can be a sidekick to Kane would be useful (similar to Gabriel Jesus/Sergio Aguero at City). Tottenham can’t afford to rely heavily on Kane, particularly in the case of injury or his possible departure.
Ideal Choice: Mauro Icardi
Currently the top scorer in the Serie A, the Argentinian is Inter Milan’s biggest asset and would be a desirable signing for any club.
But when you consider how little Tottenham have won and that Icardi’s game time would be less than he deserves, Spurs wouldn’t be as appealing to him as other teams that are interested.
His price tag would also be too high for a player who wouldn’t be the undisputed No. 9 at the club.
Alternative Choice: Andrea Belotti
Making the short trip from Milan to Turin, we look at another prolific striker in the Serie A.
Belotti is not as high profile as Icardi, but leads the line excellently for Torino. Last season, Il Toro finished ninth and were largely kept afloat by Belotti’s goals, placing him third in the top goalscorers list with 26, two ahead Icardi’s 24.
Belotti has excellent attacking intelligence, the ability to shoot with both feet, possesses an aerial threat and brings a high work-rate to the table, making him nearly a carbon copy of Kane.
Again, quality in squad depth is a recurring problem for Spurs here. The loss of Toby Alderweireld through a hamstring injury has been pivotal in the decline of Tottenham’s form, mainly at the back. They have now fallen to fifth and have kept only eight clean sheets from 20 games.
The Belgian duo of Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen is relatively solid and the purchase of Davinson Sanchez in the summer was a welcome addition. But when a crisis strikes, such as Alderweireld’s loss, a championship-winning team have to be able to pull through.
Ideal Choice: Raphael Varane
Physical strength. Pace. Composure. All necessary attributes required by a top defender, and Real Madrid’s Varane has got them all.
Playing as an apprentice to Sergio Ramos, Varane quickly became a top player at Madrid and eventually pushed veteran defender Pepe out of the team. At just 24, he has won three Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles. He has many years left at the top, being four years younger than Alderweireld (28) and six younger than Vertonghen (30).
He is arguably the most expensive defender in the world, so as you can imagine even Tottenham themselves wouldn’t fancy their chances of signing him.
Alternative Choice: Marc Bartra
A product of the accomplished La Masia academy, Bartra has been impressive since his arrival at Borussia Dortmund. Slightly older than the Frenchman at 26, he is similar to Varane, although he lacks slightly in physicality.
He would work well alongside defenders like Alderweireld and Vertonghen due to his ability to cover in defence thanks to his pace – although Gareth Bale might disagree.
Dortmund are currently in a slump in the Bundesliga, so if London happened to come calling, Bartra would likely be happy to test himself in another top European league.
With Tottenham – and pretty much the rest of the league – left in the dust by Manchester City in terms of challenging for the title, it looks as if Spurs will be going yet another season trophy-less. However, if they can lift the FA Cup this season (the only trophy they have a realistic chance of winning), it will be their first since their League Cup triumph in 2008.
Whether they like it or not, in order to consistently stay among the cream of the crop they need to break out the chequebook to compete with their fellow league rivals in the transfer market, as well as on the pitch.