With both Harry Kane and Heung Min-Son out of action for the foreseeable future at least, Spurs find themselves in a very compromising position when it comes to striking options.
The club announced earlier this week that Kane would be out until March with an ankle ligament injury while Son will be unavailable from at least February 1st as he represents his country South Korea at the Asian Games.
Kane and Son have been in scintillating form this season with the former scoring 20 goals and grabbing six assists and the later bagging 12 goals and seven assists in all competitions for Pochettino’s side.
If Spurs are to continue keeping pace with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City at the top of the table they must address their issues in the striking department sooner rather than later.
Here are five potential short-term solutions for Spurs’ striker crisis.
1) Play Dele Alli or Erik Lamela As A False Nine
Probably the most promising option for Pochettino would be to use one of his prominent attacking midfield options and play them through the middle as a false nine.
Dele Alli has proven that he can fill the role relatively well in previous years, and his finishing and aerial ability mean that his game could be suited to a more central position. Lamela is similar and his pace running behind may cause defenders problems but his lack of experience in the position could be detrimental to his cause.
As key as Kane is, London rivals Chelsea have proven that with the right pieces and support around your false nine it’s a system that can be very effective.
The lack of an attacking focal point this option brings, however, will not be ideal for Pochettino.
2) Give Fernando Llorente His First Start In 12 Months
The second choice number nine Fernando Llorente has struggled for game-time since his arrival at Spurs from Swansea in the Summer of 2017 but would be a like for like swap for Kane in the positional sense at least.
Although not prolific in front of goal, Llorente is a strong presence up top and can link up well with the likes of Eriksen, Alli and Lamela in midfield and provide opportunities for the attacking trio to run beyond him thanks to the Spaniard’s excellent ability to hold the ball up.
Starting Llorente against Fulham, in particular, could tempt Pochettino due to their frailties in defence but it’s hard to imagine the Spaniard delivering consistently considering he’s only got one goal in his 21 Premier League appearances for Spurs.
3) Give Young Standout Troy Parrott An Opportunity
At just 16 years of age it’s highly unlikely that Pochettino will start Irish striker Troy Parrott, but he has already proven that his ability fair outweighs his lack of first team experience.
The former Belvedere man has been knocking on the door of the Tottenham first team for a month or so now and will likely be presented with an opportunity, at least from the bench, over the next few games.
Excluding the forgotten Vincent Janssen, who Pochettino has already outlined, will not be making a return to the first team setup, Parrott is essentially Spurs’ second choice striker and his 11 goals in seven games for the U18s this season is impressive regardless of level.
The man many Irish fans have been tipping to be the next Robbie Keane could find himself thrown into the deep end sooner rather than later.
4) Bring In A Striker On A Short – Term Deal
This will likely only be an option should Spurs start to panic and struggle massively without the goals of Kane and Alli.
Their options here would be limited with talk even of free agent Giuseppe Rossi coming in to provide cover up top for Spurs, but it’s the loan market that could be explored should they decide someone is needed short term.
Although expensive, even on loan, Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata could be an option to be looked at, along with Liverpool’s Divock Origi, both of whom have high-level experience but have struggled for minutes and form as of late.
Pochettino has stated that he does not want to add t0 his striking options during this transfer window, but only time will tell whether that’s the smart option or not.
5) Sign Callum Wilson As Legitimate Competition For Harry Kane
Despite his apparent reluctance to dip into the transfer market, Poch may decide that he’s sick of the rigmarole every season surrounding the inevitable Kane injury and that he would like some proper competition for the England striker.
The man to provide that could be Bournemouth striker and apparent Chelsea target Callum Wilson, with reports suggesting that the 27-year would cost somewhere in the region of £50 million.
Levy and Pochettino though may feel it’s finally time to cover themselves in the number 9 department and bring in an excellent striker with a proven track record in the Premier League to, not only deputise when Kane is injured but, provide legitimate competition and a different option from what their number 10 brings.
An unlikely but not necessarily foolish move.