Nuno Espirito Santo’s hiring last week brought and end to the turbulent Great Manager Search of 2021 after two and a half months. Setting aside everyone’s thoughts on his hiring, it’s time to analyze what to expect as Tottenham Hotspur’s pre-season training has officially started.
Charlie Eccleshare of The Athletic has a wonderful piece that is a Q&A mailbag from Spurs supporters, trying to update everyone on where the club stands on various topics. The article is paywalled and is worth the read, but the important topics are no surprise: Harry Kane, returning players from loan, and the transfer market.
There’s no update on Harry Kane’s status, as expected. Any and all talks are being put off until the Euros are done, and with England in the final on Sunday, if the Three Lions pull off a win over Italy, those talks may get delayed a few more days. Kane also will need a little time off to recharge, but it’s believed he’ll talk with Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici prior to leaving for a couple of weeks.
As it stands right now, Kane isn’t leaving the club without some dominoes falling. Whether or not that £100m bid a few weeks ago was a thing that happened is in the eye of the beholder. The truth is almost certainly somewhere in the middle and City, who definitely want a striker but know it won’t come cheap, have a decision to make on whether to escalate these talks. If Kane decides to go to the media and raise a stink, the talks probably get turned up to 11 in a hurry at that point. For what it’s worth, I don’t think Kane will do that.
Eccleshare states he wouldn’t sell Kane, and that’s where he and I differ to an extent. If City come in with a big bid, let’s say ~£120m, I’d pull the trigger. This market is full of clubs who desperately need funds, especially in France and Italy. For example, Arsenal are in the market for a midfielder and it seems they have locked onto Houssem Aouar of Lyon. Aouar is a fantastic talent and just 23 years old. The surprise is that Lyon are willing to let him go for a reported €20m-€25m, which is insane given they were looking for €50m just one year ago. Spurs are also linked with Joachim Andersen, Jules Koundé, Marcus Thuram and a few others. Levy has said that Spurs will need to sell players to raise funds, and while selling one of the two best strikers in the world is a hell of a way to do it....it might make sense.
Spurs loaned out several players last season and are expecting contributions from a few, with Oliver Skipp and Ryan Sessegnon at the top of the list. Skipp flourished at newly-promoted Norwich City last season, earning team of the season honors as he was virtually undroppable for the Canaries. Norwich tried their best to get him back on loan or even a purchase, but Skipp has been highly touted for a long time and he may truly get his chance to shine this season in a crowded midfield.
Sessegnon went to TSG Hoffenheim last season and played just over 1500 minutes in the Bundesliga, garnering praise from the management staff there. Nuno is very high on the young fullback, having tried his best to purchase him when he was still at Wolverhampton. With Spurs moving to Nuno’s favored back three, Sessegnon and Sergio Reguilon have a great chance to become the the regulars on the left flank while Ben Davies can slot into a left center back position, one of which he’s played plenty of times on international duty with Wales.
I went into depth about who I thought should stay and go among the players that could potentially leave. With Nuno in charge now, I expect rumors to ramp up quickly, especially with the Euros coming to an end on Sunday. Spurs also have a small problem with international players as they’re slightly over the limit, but a couple of sales can rectify that problem. While the pressure will be on to compete regardless of possible moves, I’d expect the first couple of months of the season to be a roller coaster. I’ll go out on a limb and say Kane will be sold, but it won’t be until after the opening match of the season. Levy will have an easier time spinning it as a financial win if Spurs supporters are reminded on the first match of the season that their homegrown talisman went to the league champions.