Following back-to-back seasons where they fell just short of becoming champions of England, Tottenham Hotspur had the chance to make a real statement of intent in the summer transfer market.
The Lilywhites boast one of the best squads in the Premier League, with players at a good age looking to take their game to the next level. Mauricio Pochettino’s men have been very entertaining over the past two seasons with tremendous balance boasting the best defence in the league over the said period. Despite all their talent and potential, they have fallen short once again at the business end of the season.
The Premier League runners-up lacks championship calibre and often show their naivety during crucial periods of the season and at big moments in high pressure situations. Pochettino has a young squad with immense quality and potential, but they just seem to lack the character to get over the line. They have established themselves as one of the favourites for the Premier League title and must now show the ambition as well as the desire on and off the pitch to become champions. Spurs are also inexperienced in terms of Champions League football and, after their exploits last season, should be aspiring for at least a place in the knockout stages this time around, albeit in a difficult group with two-time defending champions, Real Madrid and another strong young side in Borussia Dortmund.
Having done the hard work investing in young players and defying the odds to become a genuine title contender, the two-time champions of England should now be looking to grab the bull by the horns. Their business this summer was very modest for a club that now sees themselves as one of the big boys. Economically they had an excellent transfer window with Daniel Levy known as a tough negotiator and one of the best across Europe. However, from a sporting aspect and the standpoint of sending a message to their rivals, Tottenham again fell short of the mark.
Levy managed to keep all his star assets with the exception of Kyle Walker, who went to Manchester City for over £50m. They did hold onto Eric Dier who was subject to concrete interest from Manchester United. The likes of Clinton N’Jie and Kevin Wimmer also departed while the club welcomed Davinson Sánchez, Juan Foyth, Fernando Llorente and Serge Aurier.
With the exception of Aurier, it can be argued that the other signings only provide cover for Pochettino but don’t actually improve the squad. Of all their acquisitions, perhaps Aurier would be the only player who would have secured a place in the first eleven last season. The Ivorian is clearly a gamble with his ‘bad-boy image’ and problems off the pitch, but at his best and when fully focused, he would improve most teams across Europe in his position. Sánchez and Foyth are good young players but they are just potential being added to the lot of talented up and comers already at White Hart Lane.