What’s next for Tottenham Hotspur?

The last few weeks certainly have been a rollercoaster of emotions for Tottenham Hotspur fans.

The inevitable news that star man Harry Kane wants to leave the club broke first. A move that would significantly hamper their chances to return to Europe’s elite in the Champions League, and also hurt their ambitions to finally break the trophy-less curse that has haunted the club over the last 13 seasons.

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However, when it was reported that recent Serie A winning manager, Antonio Conte, was in advanced talks with the club and the signing of managing director of football Fabio Paratici aiding in the discussions, Spurs fans were simply waiting for the famous “Here we go!” from Fabrizio Romano to confirm the former Chelsea boss and Premier League champion. As Spurs fans have come so accustomed to over recent years, the talks fell through based on Daniel Levy’s future vision and apparent lack of ambition to win now. This news was alarming to the ears of supporters. Daniel Levy doesn’t want to win now? How much longer is he going to make fans wait?

A general consensus around footballing circles is that Daniel Levy is reluctant to spend the money needed in today’s footballing world to be successful, and his track record speaks volumes. In recent years, Mauricio Pochettino went two incredible seasons without spending any money and was seemingly unable to build on the fantastic teams he had built.

A little more investment into the Spurs side of 2015-16 with the best defence in the Premier League backed up by the fantastic four of Dele, Son Heung-min, Christian Eriksen and Kane may have brought about a trophy to the best manager in the clubs recent history. When things went south with Pochettino’s side and the ‘Special One’ was appointed, there was thoughts that he could finally deliver the success us Yids have been craving.

Mourinho did bring about some success in the early part of this season with his side reaching the pinnacle of the table for a brief period, until it all came crashing down, in a big way. This is something that Mourinho foresaw when he targeted Ruben Dias in the January transfer window to shore up a shaky back line. It was reported that Benfica were prepared to accept the bid and after speaking to Mourinho, his Portuguese counterpart was ready to accept the move, but there was differences in the agreed wage, differences that Levy was unwilling to accept. A similar storyline to Bruno Fernandes and Joao Moutinho when Spurs registered their interest in the midfielders a couple of seasons ago. Spurs ended up with Welsh youngster Joe Rodon, who has shown some potential, but it is hard for fans to not imagine what could have been.

There are reports suggesting that this is now a time for Tottenham to start a rebuild. Three years on from a Champions League final, a new stadium just built and star-studded talent around the squad, a rebuild isn’t exactly what Spurs fans, and probably most of the players, wanted to hear. With Kane reported to be leaving, a target such as Romelu Lukaku, Andre Silva or Mauro Icardi should be top of their transfer list, along with a top quality centre half such as the Lille defender Sven Botman, who has been attracting interest from all over Europe.

However, with Levy’s reluctance to spend it seems as though the sale of Harry Kane may be the only budget that the new manager will get to spend. This new manager is growing ever more likely to be Paulo Fonseca, the former Roma and Shakhtar Donetsk boss. If we’re being honest, to go from the potential signing of Antonio Conte to Fonseca is, with no disrespect, feels like a huge fall off. Fonseca’s record with Roma draws literal parallels to Mourinho’s Spurs side in terms of finish (7th), wins (18), draws (8), losses (12), goals scored (68), and points (62). The only difference between the two was the amount that they conceded – Spurs with 45 and Roma with 58.

This is possibly the most worrying stat for Spurs fans, they are employing a manager whose team leaked more goals. Spurs are in desperate need for a manager who is defensively sound and has a style of play that excites fans enough to get behind him. If Fonseca arrives at Spurs with a plan in place to bring about more attack minded football, it will be welcomed, until the amount of goals they concede becomes a problem.

For me, Fonseca is not the right appointment. Levy should understand the reaction an appointment such as Conte would do for the club. A manager of that stature would not only make the team more competitive, but attract the top players around Europe that want to play for a top manager possible of bringing about Premier League glory. It might also persuade star man Harry Kane to stay.

At this point, the appointment of Conte is not happening and the sale of Kane seems ever more imminent, so here’s what I think Spurs could do to ensure they return to the team they were two or three seasons ago. It is time to clear out some of the players that are not up to the standard anymore such as Serge Aurier, Eric Dier, Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies, Harry Winks, Erik Lamela and decline the buy option of Vinicius.

In terms of bringing players into the club, Ryan Sessegnon will be returning from his loan at Hoffenheim and should be the teams first choice left back. Along with that, Championship young player of the year Oliver Skipp will be returning and will add some well needed steel and grit in the centre of midfield. After that, it’s time to focus on transfers into the club. To shore up the backline I would towards a full back like Max Aarons or Tariq Lamptey along with Sven Botman. Marcel Sabitzer would add more depth and quality to the midfield before targeting a replacement striker for Harry Kane.

Possibly the most difficult task that faces Fabio Paratici is replacing the goals, the quality and the star power that Harry Kane brings to N17. Although I’d love to bang the drum for Lukaku, I am realistic and understand that is not very likely. After Lukaku it seems that they may have to bring in two players to really get back the goals Kane has brought. There have been many players that Spurs have interest in, by reports, including Andre Silva, Danny Ings, Anthony Martial, Mauro Icardi and Alexander Isak. For me, I think an out and out number 9 in Andre Silva would bring a focal point up front and PSV’s Donyell Malen would add some versatility, someone who could play up front, as a false 9 and outside adds some flexibility and versatility to the squad.

There is no doubt that Tottenham will not be challenging for the league title in the 2021-22 season, but a strong cup run and the challenge for Champions League football will appease the fans and keep them onside, at least for the time being. Fonseca may not be the best appointment but he did lead Donesk to trophies, something that is always welcomed. The beloved Pochettino was an appointment that wasn’t exactly riddled with silverware and that had success. So maybe, just maybe, this could be a time when Levy’s unwillingness to spend more money to bring success, could actually bring success. This maybe is something that us Spurs fans will cling on to, myself included.

The Author

Jack Murray

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