After a captivating World Cup, that not only gripped the nation, but had us all dreaming of what could be (a feeling that I as a lifelong Spurs fan, am very familiar with - including the inevitable disappointment), the summer transfer window began to properly kick in. A shorter window for English clubs should mean only one thing, a long summers worth of signings condensed into a short and sweet period, full of maximum anticipation and excitement. However, we now enter the final days of the window in which Premier League clubs can buy players and we are yet to see any movement at all from Spurs, bar the almost inevitable and impending departure of Toby Alderweireld, one of the greatest defenders to ever put on the Lilywhite shirt. Nevertheless, I do not believe that Spurs are in a terrible situation if they fail to add any new players to the first team squad and I shall tell you why:
1) Fringe Players
The World Cup has meant that most of our starting 11 will not have played any friendly matches leading into the first Premier League game of the season. As a result, the team has had to rely on the youth team and fringe players who either did not, or hardly featured last season. This has given ample opportunity for them to stake a place in the first team setup.
Llorente has shown glimpses of the player that he should have been last season, and could be this season; a good solid back up striker. He’s no longer the player that he once was, true, but another world class striker is not something that we fundamentally need. It would be very nice, don’t get me wrong, but we will never be able to attract someone of that calibre while we have the world’s best number 9 at the club, who not only has a starting berth each game, but will play the full 90 minutes in each one of them, barring any injuries. Now that he has had a full season to acclimatize to the Spurs philosophy, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to fit in as that back up player, who is going to get 20 sub appearances and a few starts this season.
Next we can look at N'Koudou. He did not have a very successful loan spell at Burnley, which begs the question, if he wasn’t being regularly picked and performing there, how will he be able to do it at Spurs. He has however shown good glimpses of the player that we thought we were getting when we signed him. He is fast, likes to take on the defender and looks like a proper winger - he wants to beat the full back and get something into the box. This is exactly what Son brought off of the bench initially, until he had that spell when Kane was injured and truly lit up the premier league for a few games, 7 goals in only 4 or 5 games I believe. Why could the same not happen for N'Koudou?
Lamela splits opinion; is he a fringe player, is he a starter, should he even be in the squad at all? I personally have him somewhere between the first and second option. He’s got good feet, well a good left foot, usually always looks to get the ball forward and has that aggressive streak in him that you need from a few players in your team. Is he world class, not at the moment, but I don’t see why he couldn’t get close. He can pull off some special things, the famous Rabona comes to mind, and Poch clearly likes him and believes there is something there. This season has been hard for him having to get back into the swing of things, after such a long period out. He has however, had a full pre-season, bar the injury that he has suffered, and had plenty of time to slowly get up to speed in the second half of last season. Could this season be the one where he starts to pay off some of that, at the time, record transfer fee? We will hope and see.
I’m a season ticket holder and love nothing better than waking up on a Saturday knowing that it’s only a few hours until I am on the terraces watching my beloved Spurs play, whilst singing my heart out. There is one song that I particularly love singing - “He’s one of our own”. The reason that I love singing it is because I truly do love seeing players who have grown up through our academy, supporting Spurs the way that us fans on the terraces do, finally getting their chance and performing on the main stage.
There is no doubt that they have a bigger desire to see the club do well than other players who haven’t been surrounded by the club in their formative years. You see that every time Harry Kane is on the pitch. You see it when Harry Winks is on the pitch. I’m hoping that I will be able to say the same in the upcoming season(s) of players like Luke Amos, Kyle Walker-Pieters and Olive Skipp to name but a few. That desire that they bring increases their ability when they pull on the shirt, without a doubt and that’s before even commenting about how good they actually are in footballing terms. This pre season has given them a chance to show what they can do and they have done well, very well. I would have no problems with Amos starting in midfield against Newcastle and I don’t see why any other Spurs fan should either. There’s a central midfield signing for this window right there. If we bring through 1 or 2 youth players a year into the first team squad, then you are getting natural additions to the squad, who are not only talented (we have one of the best youth setups in the premier league), but have lived and breathed the Tottenham philosophy during their development and know exactly what is required of them from the manager. Could you really ask for anything more than that?
3) Lucas Moura
For anyone who keeps their eyes on the latest Brazilian exports that surface in the European leagues, whether it be for pure interest sake, or due to a keen interest in either the FIFA or Football Manager video games, then you would have known about Lucas Moura a fair few years ago. I certainly did, as he was swiftly bought in several of my Fifa career modes of previous years. He signed for PSG for around £38 million in 2013, a quite tasty fee for 5 years ago, even if that money will only buy you a Richarlison today (I’m very glad we didn’t waste that sort of money on someone who disappeared for a large part of last season). He went on to become a permanent member of the starting 11 at PSG, playing in pretty much every league game of the following 4 seasons, whilst regularly contributing with goals and assists. He also has 36 caps for Brazil. He isn’t just some squad filler, he’s a top class attacking player, one who I was amazed we had captured. The only reason he left PSG is because Neymar came in and that was his starting berth gone, not because of some random winger, because of one of the best players in the world, top 10 definitely, top 5 quite probably, top 3, now that’s a compete other discussion which isn’t for this piece. These are all reasons why we should be excited for the upcoming season. I don’t consider him a signing of last season. As far as I’m concerned, he is a signing for this transfer window and a world class one at that.
Moving into Pochettino’s Spurs is a massive change for most players, as the demands on fitness and pressing are above and beyond those that are required for other managers. It truly does need half a season to get up to that level in my opinion, which is exactly what Moura has had, half a season of ‘pre season training’. Now he is ready.
4) The Stadium
Last season was a tricky one, were we playing at home, were we not? Wembley had no chance of being able to create the atmosphere that we all loved at White Hart Lane, we got as close as possible during the Madrid game, but for the large part of last season, it was like watching Spurs play in some sort of purgatory. There were glimmers of atmosphere here and there, but on the whole, it was pretty bland. We now have a chance of adding that player that we have missed during the last season, that "12th Man". The stadium looks incredible and I can't wait to experience it for myself, as I'm sure the players themselves can't wait either. We will be able to provide that support for the players and the positive, deafening atmosphere that I know Spurs fans are so easily able to do. If the new stadium is not an additional signing when compared to last season, or indeed possibly a 'better' 12th man than when at The Lane, then what was the point in building it?
Don't get me wrong, I would love us to get some big names in; a Martial, a Kovacic, a Perisic, even a player such as Zaha, but we may not be afforded such a luxury. Do I blame Pochettino or Levy, no, it is just the way it is. However, due to the reasons mentioned above, as well as a variety of other factors, I do not believe that it will be a disaster to start this season off without a new signing. We won't be saying goodbye to the top four and we won't be bowing out of the Champions League at the group stage, because we are a team that are improving year in and year out. We have got 3rd, 2nd, and 3rd and yet we are still improving, with most of our players, if not all, yet to reach their peak. The other top 6 teams should be afraid of us and the fact that we don't necessarily need to add players, as we have got an outstanding starting 11. I can't wait for the season to start and for the team to prove to all the doubters, just how good we are. We are the mighty Tottenham Hotspur and no new signings will certainly not take that away.