Premier League transfer window: Who should Tottenham sign?
Examining the options of Mauricio Pochettino this summer...
Last Updated: 17/05/19 12:03pm
Tottenham's recent transfer inactivity is well documented, but with the squad stretched to breaking point during its run to the Champions League final and the uncertainty over their magnificent new stadium at an end, Spurs will surely be busy this summer as the Mauricio Pochettino project enters a new phase.
Lucas Moura remains the last player bought by Pochettino - a £25m signing from PSG in January 2018 - and the core of this side has remained largely untouched for four years.
But with the futures of Christian Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld uncertain and several other squad members likely to be moved on, who will Spurs move for to ensure they maintain their place at the top table of English and European football?
Given the injury problems afflicting Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks and the January departure of Mousa Dembele, midfield reinforcements would seem a certainty, while a new centre-half will also be on the shopping list should Alderweireld leave.
The pundit's verdict
Phil Thompson: "I think they need a bit of strengthening all around, maybe in the full-back areas. There is talk of Christian Eriksen leaving, who is their creative influence. That would be a big blow to Tottenham.
"I think Fernando Llorente could move on too as he will want more game time, so it is similar to Liverpool - they will need a decent forward to work alongside or perhaps off Harry Kane. They need to beef up the quality of their squad. They have 14/15 that are decent but they must bulk up with quality rather than quantity."
What do the stats say?
Spurs lost 13 games last season, six more than the previous season, and they scored fewer goals and conceded more than in 2017/18.
Their form since Christmas has been alarming, losing eight of their 16 league games and only finishing in the top four thanks to the disastrous late-season form of Arsenal and Manchester United.
Losing Eriksen would be huge. He led the team with 12 assists, six more than anyone else, and created 73 chances, 24 more than second-placed Kieran Trippier.
Likewise, the loss of Alderweireld would be significant. The Belgian made 167 clearances for Spurs this season, 66 more than any other player.
The manager's view
Pochettino on rebuilding Spurs' squad: "When you talk about Tottenham, everyone says you have an amazing house but you need to put in the furniture. If you want to have a lovely house maybe you need better furniture. And it depends on your budget if you are going to spend money. We need to be respectful with teams like Manchester City or Liverpool who spend a lot of money. We are brave, we are clever, we are creative.
"Now it's about creating another chapter and to have the clear idea of how we are going to build that new project. We need to rebuild. It's going to be painful."
Pochettino on being backed in the transfer market: "I am not open to start a new chapter with no plan, with no clear idea, with not being transparent, telling you and telling our fans what's next, what is our objective. I know very well how this business works. And we know very well that we need to operate in a different way - that doesn't mean to spend more or less money.
"But if we expect every season to be in the final of the Champions League because it is our plan, we need to create a plan. And the plan maybe is different to what has happened in the last five years.
"And if we believe that if we operate in the same way that we have operated in the last five years we are going to be every season in the final of the Champions League, and we are going to be every season in the top four and competing against projects like Liverpool or Manchester City or Manchester United, I think we are very naive."
What we know - The Sky Sports News insight
Paul Gilmour: "It's fair to say Tottenham are exploring their options in the transfer market this summer after a number of quiet windows. Despite reaching a Champions League final Mauricio Pochettino is eager to keep progressing as they reach a crossroads with some of their more senior players.
"Christian Eriksen has 12 months left on his contract and, although the club is keen to tie him down to a new deal, there are no signs of the player putting pen to paper just yet. Spurs are thought to be keen on Youri Tielemans, who impressed on loan at Leicester this season.
"Toby Alderweireld could leave for £25m this summer while Fernando Llorente and Michel Vorm are out of contract. Llorente is certainly making a case for new one year trigger but a replacement striker will be signed should he move on, especially with Vincent Janssen likely to depart. As ever that could be problematic with any newcomer knowing they will play backup to Harry Kane.
"Serge Aurier's future is uncertain along with Victor Wanyama while Erik Lamela could be the subject of interest from elsewhere. Regarding incomings, a lot will depend on who leaves. Spurs are yet to replace Mousa Dembele so a central midfielder is high on the list with Andre Gomes a key target.
"Ryan Sessegnon is also someone of interest while it will be interesting to see if they renew their attempts for Jack Grealish. Expect a couple of foreign departures so the club avoid a repeat of the situation that they must leave a senior player out of their 25-man Premier League squad."
Which positions are Tottenham targeting?
Having been inactive during the last three transfer windows, Spurs may look to bring in up to six new faces this summer, with a right-back, centre-back, left-back, central midfielder, attacking midfielder and right winger the key areas to be targeted.
Read on: The summer transfer plan series continues...
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