We’re 12 days into the January transfer window and the one thing you can say with absolute certainty is Tottenham Hotspur have gotten stuff done. Spurs not only historically don’t buy in January, they absolutely don’t buy this early in January. But this month, they have — Timo Werner’s loan signing on January 9 was one of the earliest January signings in more than a decade.
I make this the earliest Spurs have signed a player in January since Bongani Khumalo arrived on Jan 7 2011 from SuperSport United.— Charlie Eccleshare (@CDEccleshare) January 9, 2024
7 of Spurs’ last 9 signings in the winter window have been on deadline day (or later with Ryan Nelsen), with the others on January 29 and January 28
And it’s not just Timo — yesterday’s signing of Radu Dragusin took care of Tottenham’s main squad hole and Spurs have also secured loans for Djed Spence and Eric Dier. And it’s only January 12! That’s basically a whole window’s worth of January business done in the first 11 days.
So what now? Well, that’s the question. Spurs’ impetus for getting Werner and Dragusin in so quickly was undoubtedly due to the injury crisis at the club as well as the departures of Son Heung-Min, Yves Bissouma, and Pape Sarr to international duty this month. But it leaves a good three weeks of prime January transfer window in which they can do... something? Maybe?
That’s really the question. There’s tons of opportunity now for Spurs to consider their options, wait for targets of opportunity, and continue their squad makeover. Or not. Here are some things Spurs can do with the rest of the January window.
Job’s done. Peace out bitches, enjoy your deadline day. We’re gonna win the league.
A few youth loans or signings
Tottenham have been focusing some of their transfer energy on refreshing the U21 squad with talented and often overlooked young players — people like Alfie Devine, Jude Soonsup-Bell, Will Lankshear, and Croatian starlet Luka Vuskovic. This also includes players like Ash Phillips and Alejo Veliz — guys who are expected to be included in the NEXT great Tottenham Hotspur team, or barring that, ones that can be flipped for an easy profit down the road. We might expect one or two signings in that realm.
Likewise, there are a bunch of young players that could probably use a good loan. Josh Keeley has already been sent to Barnet, Phillips to Plymouth Argyle, and Matthew Craig is now at Doncaster. A few others might get their chance for regular first team football as well if the coaching staff thinks they would benefit.
Sell/Loan Bryan Gil and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg
Hojbjerg has been linked with a move away from Spurs ever since Ange Postecoglou joined. Not that it has prevented Big Ange from using him when necessary, but he clearly doesn’t fancy Hojbjerg for his tactics long term, and there has been a ton of smoke about Pierre desiring a move away for additional playing time. Makes sense, especially after Yves Bissouma, Pape Sarr, and James Maddison are back in the team.
Meanwhile, Bryan Gil only got minutes because he’s more or less the last man standing who can play at that left wing position. It’s become pretty clear by this point that if he’s going to make it as a top footballer it won’t be at Spurs. He did pretty well at Sevilla on loan last season, so if a good opportunity comes for a loan or (preferably) a sale, I’d expect Spurs to look at it.
And that leads to...
A new CM or dribbly winger
Ange, bless him, loves his dribbly attacking guys and I expect we’ll be linked to a bunch of them during the rest of the window, especially right sided ones. But what Spurs actually need is a creative central midfielder. It’s not a secret why Spurs keep getting linked with Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher — he’s a pretty good box-to-box six and has some positional flexibility, something that Ange quite likes in his players. With Giovani Lo Celso out (again) for another month or so, that opens an opportunity for Spurs to bring in Gallagher, or more likely, a Conor Gallagher-like substance since Chelsea are likely going to be reticent to sell him in January and especially to Spurs.
Of course, Spurs could also go the dribbly attacking guy route and push Dejan Kulusevski centrally as they have done lately.
Radu Dragusin is great, but that still only leaves three natural CBs at the club, and Ben Davies is injured. Spurs are still linked with Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly, and he’d make a perfectly serviceable fourth defender, basically setting Spurs up for years at the back. Maybe it’s not Kelly, but I can see Spurs maybe bringing in extra depth if the right opportunity arises.
A new forward
This feels a little less likely now that Spurs have signed Timo Werner on loan to the end of the season. But with Veliz injured, you never know.
MYSTERY BOX DEADLINE DAY PLAYER
There’s always one or two of these that pop up late in the window, even on the last day. They’re also always fun. Who might it be? A smash-and-grab for Frenkie De Jong? The return of Luka Modric? Mbappe on loan? Give me a modern-day Rafa van der Vaart!
What do you think Spurs will do with the rest of the January window?