When the transfer window closes in September all the clubs in the Premier League will have to register their respective squads for the upcoming season. Tottenham have already added Paulinho and Nacer Chadli to their squads and have subtracted William Gallas and David Bentley. Two in and two out would seem to make Tottenham Hotspur ok, but that's actually not the case.
Before we get into Tottenham's squad as it stands, let's have a quick refresher on the squad rules. The Premier League's squad rules have two important components. First, is the homegrown players rule. A homegrown player is any player who, regardless of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21). No more than 17 non-homegrown players can be registered for the league. The second rule pertains to U-21 players. Players born on or after January 1, 1992 will not count against the 25 player squad limit.
So, here's how Tottenham Hotspur's squad looks at the moment. (Homegrown players will be denoted with an HG and U-21 players with a U21).
Goalkeeper (3): Gomes, Brad Friedel, Hugo Lloris
Defense (9): Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Steven Caulker (HG), Michael Dawson (HG), Younes Kaboul, Kyle Naughton (HG), Danny Rose (HG), Adam Smith (HG), Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker (HG)
Midfield (15): Gareth Bale (HG), Tom Carroll (U21), Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Iago Falque, Lewis Holtby, Tom Huddlestone (HG), Aaron Lennon (HG), Jake Livermore (HG), Scott Parker (HG), Paulinho, Sandro, Gylfi Sigurdsson (HG), Andros Townsend (HG)
Striker (3): Emmanuel Adebayor, Jermain Defoe (HG), Harry Kane (U21)
So, that is 30 total players, but two of them, Carroll and Kane, are under 21. Tottenham are clearly fine on homegrown players with thirteen of them in the squad already. As it stand Spurs need to offload at least 3 players to get down to the 25 player squad limit and that's even if we don't sign any more players.
It seems likely that one of the goalkeepers, probably Gomes, will go somewhere this offseason. Additionally some of the fullback depth will be offloaded. It's unfortunate for Adam Smith that he's not under 21 otherwise he probably could have stayed with the team. In midfield, there's definitely a log jam in the center and on the wings. Likely one of Livermore, Huddlestone, and Parker will be sold. Tom Carroll may go on loan, but he doesn't count against the squad limits anyway. In addition, Spurs probably expect to move on at least one of their wingers. Falque and Dempsey seem like the most likely candidates for a transfer away from White Hart Lane.
What this means for the big picture is that some of these senior team players are going to have to go even if Tottenham don't sign another player this summer.