Tottenham made their second signing of the 2016 summer transfer window today, announcing the transfer of Dutch international striker Vincent Janssen. Janssen joins midfielder Victor Wanyama, who officially joined Spurs when the window opened on July 1.
Spurs have gotten two key pieces of their summer business done early, signing a reserve/rotation striker to help spell (and compete with) Harry Kane, and another defensive midfielder. The key modus operands for Spurs in this window appears to be depth. With Spurs’ starting 11 able to compete for a Premier League title while in the Europa League last season, what more can we expect from Spurs in the remainder of the summer window?
Attacking Midfielder. Spurs are looking for additional help in the front attacking band, and we’ve already seen evidence of the kinds of players they’re looking at. The Mario Götze and Georginio Wijnaldum rumors indicate that Mauricio Pochettino is on the hunt for another mid who can play in multiple positions. Götze can play anywhere along the forward attacking band (though he’s best as a pressing #10) and Wijnaldum can play centrally, on the left, or as a central midfielder. Spurs are loaded with attacking mids at the moment, but they have a lot of high profile matches to play next season. Another attacking midfielder would help ensure that there is a true rotation in place and adequate cover in the event of injury, but it also probably means a couple of midfielders will be moving on.
Central Defender. The injury to Jan Vertonghen has indicated in some ways how thin Spurs are in the center of defense. Vertonghen and Alderweireld formed one of the, if not THE, best defensive partnership in the Premier League. Kevin Wimmer is a solid replacement for Jan and a good rotation option when the games come thick and fast, but when you get below him things get hairy. Eric Dier can slip back into central defense if needed, but he’s better in midfield. Federico Fazio is almost certainly going to be sold this summer. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Dominic Ball probably aren’t ready for prime-time. Spurs were linked with Samuel Umtiti (now at Barcelona) early in the window and were nominally connected with Icelandic defender Ragnar Sigurdsson. It wouldn’t be surprising if they go for some cheap defensive cover.
Goalkeeper. Spurs haven’t been linked with any keepers in this window yet, but an ESPN article from today hinted that we might see an upgrade. Behind Hugo Lloris are Michel Vorm and academy grad Luke McGee. Vorm’s performances were... hit or miss for Spurs last season, which led to some Tottenham fan discontent on social media. I don’t know what a new keeper would mean – would Vorm be moved on? Would McGee? – and keepers are different in that they are much less affected by lots of matches than an outfield player. Still, there’s a pretty significant drop in ability between Lloris and Vorm; Poche might want to narrow that gap.
Youngsters. That ESPN article also notes that Spurs are looking at young forwards, which doesn’t surprise me. In recent years Spurs have been priming the pump on young talent from the lower leagues and the continent: Dele Alli was the biggest “get” but they also signed Shilow Tracey in January from Ebbsfleet. I have no idea what kinds of players they might go for, but it wouldn’t shock me at all if there’s a few new faces in the development squad next season.
Midfielders. There’s a glut of midfielders on Tottenham’s roster, and it’s quite likely that there will be some departures this summer, either permanently or on loan. Ryan Mason, Tom Carroll, Nacer Chadli, Alex Pritchard, Son Heung-Min, and Nabil Bentaleb have all been linked with a move out of White Hart Lane already at some point this summer, but none have been given any indication thus far that they’re going to be sold. However, SOMETHING needs to give here.
Preseason will be vitally important, and training could turn into Central Midfielder Thunderdome. Out of all of the players linked away, I’d guess at least one Mason, Carroll, or Bentaleb will be with a new club by the close of the window, and if Spurs sign someone like Mario Götze that could be the end for Nacer Chadli and/or Alex Pritchard as well. Three of the four are Tottenham academy grads, and that sucks, but not every prospect is going to pan out long term. Spurs can probably get a good price for Chadli, too.
Defenders. Federico Fazio is the most obvious Spurs defender to see the axe this summer; after returning to Sevilla on loan last season, he barely played for his old club and is back with Tottenham. Pochettino clearly doesn’t rate him, and I’d be shocked if he isn’t gone. Poche seems quite happy with his four fullbacks, but there’s possible preseason intrigue at the reserve right back position: DeAndre Yedlin had a pretty good Copa America with USA and is hoping to stake a claim for Kieran Trippier’s spot as Kyle Walker’s primary backup. If there is a positional battle, I’d expect the loser to be loaned or sold outright.
What do you think Spurs will do in the remainder of the window? Where are the biggest positions of need? Put your replies in the comments.