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Gold: Spurs looking at bolstering attacking options in January

There’s blood on the ground, so Spurs are thin on the ground.

AFC Champions League Al-Ittihad v Air Force Club Photo by Khalid Alhaj/MB Media/Getty Images

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: Tottenham Hotspur are currently in an injury crisis. Reinforcements are thin on the ground, and the club is at the point where there are not enough players in the senior squad to put together a matchday side.

With that said, even before the spate of recent injuries, the attacking line has been an area identified for upgrade. Across the front three, Spurs have in their ranks players such as Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison, whose effort is absolutely unquestioned but who probably haven’t quite produced at the level required; Manor Solomon and Bryan Gil, who I would say are unlikely to ever be starting XI quality; Brennan Johnson, who has shown promise but has his own fitness issues and a long way to go to cement his place in the XI; and then the likes of Alejo Veliz, Jamie Donley, and Yago Santiago, who are more prospects than anything else and are unlikely to challenge for a starting spot any time soon.

Reading through that list, it’s kind of a sobering thought to realize that Heung-Min Son is Spurs’ only nailed-on starter in the attacking band; and that’s not a knock on the likes of Kulusevski (who has been very good at points), but the reality is that the production has just not been there.

And that’s something that the new-look Tottenham back office are looking to fix, in the latest from Alasdair Gold:

Gold talks about more than the attacking band in this piece, but we’ve already written a few pieces around those areas, and most of Gold’s piece focuses on either just rumors or already known links.

There are a few new tidbits, however, in his assessment of reinforcements for the attacking line, and those tidbits range from total Bat Country rumor, to “Seems plausible I guess?”, to “OK, this sounds like a legitimate link”, and we here at Cartilage Free Captain headquarters are here to help you wade through the muck and find the truth (which IS out there, according to Fox Mulder).

The most robust link appears to be with Samuel Iling-Junior. The Chelsea youth product shifted to the Juventus academy back in 2020, before making his senior debut last season, and has a good goalscoring record at youth level. He’s a left footed winger with some versatility, sometimes coming on at left wingback for Filip Kostic in Juve’s Serie A standard back three formation. Though it’s possible that Spurs might have him in mind as a future fullback prospect, it seems more likely he’s an option in the attacking band, scoring 13 goals in 36 matches in the 21/22 season for Juventus U19 and U23 sides, and comfortable running at opposition defenses with strong technical ability (and what looks like a solid work-rate on the other side of the ball).

The reason I rate this link as more robust is because there’s reports coming from both sides of the English Channel. Italian media started reporting a possible departure for Iling-Junior a couple of days ago, saying his agent was shopping him around after the young Englishman was dissatisfied with his lack of playing time under Max Allegri; however, Gold’s report above isn’t just a repeat of those same links, saying that we have also been looking at Iling-Junior.

Two of the other wingers mentioned are Jota and Wilfried Gnonto. Gnonto is an exciting, dribbly winger built like a damn refrigerator who plays for Leeds in the Championship, and who put in a transfer request over the summer. There’s been some less-than-robust links to Spurs in both the Italian media and the English media since the summer window, and Gold doesn’t really add much to those beyond making the obvious point that Gnonto is unhappy, especially after being left out of the Leeds starting side after recovering from an ankle injury.

Jota, meanwhile, appears to be one of those occasions where journalists have just put two and two together. Tottenham needs attacking reinforcements + Jota played for Ange Postecoglou at Celtic + Jota desperately wants out of the Saudi League = Jota is moving to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club! Again, Gold doesn’t really add much to the above rationale (hence why we haven’t really reported it on this site); but there were interesting remarks a couple of days ago from Tom Barclay for The Sun, with a reported exclusive (I know, I know, it’s The Sun, and I have refused to link there directly on principle). His report mentioned that Spurs are considering Jota as an option on loan, but that Postecoglou is concerned the Portuguese winger isn’t a good fit for the more intense Premier League.

So there you go. A couple of loose links, and none who you would really expect to come in and nail a starting spot. I do think though that with some work, Jota could really cement himself in the starting XI for the Tottenham Hotspur Hair Club for Men, and that’s all that really matters.