Levy: Get It Right This Summer & Spurs'll Be Top Four Next May
We sold Elvis, and bought The Beatles at the start of this season. Well, at least we thought we did - but it’s become clear over the long, miserable duration of this season that we actually bought a combination of A1, and the geezers from Liberty X.
Of the seven summer signings Daniel Levy and Franco Baldini made in the summer, Christian Eriksen, Vlad Chiriches and Paulinho are the only recruits that can be argued to have had any real impact on this current squad.
The rest? Well, it’s rumoured that Erik Lamela has been masquerading as Spurs mascot Chirpy since January, Roberto Soldado has struggled to adjust to life in England, Nacer Chadli isn’t the player that he was touted as during the summer and Etienne Capoue, quite simply, hasn’t been utilised properly since his injury back in September.
Spurs released their financial results on Wednesday, also releasing a stadium update, but what was most interesting were Levy’s words towards the bottom of the article:
“Our focus therefore is to continue to invest and develop the squad – we shall not look to a summer of major upheaval, but rather to strengthen in key positions – to play the style of football for which we are famous - and to deliver the new stadium.”
It’s clear that Levy and Baldini made a huge mistake in the summer, thinking it was easy enough to replace Gareth Bale’s goals with seven players who have no experience of Premier League football.
The key positions Levy identified must surely be in the defensive and attacking departments.
The majority of Spurs fans, including myself, thought Younes Kaboul was out of contract this summer, but in fact, he still has another year remaining on his deal, and, if - and it’s a big if - the Spurs coaching staff can keep the French defender fit, then Kaboul will be a crucial part to the Spurs back four.
Michael Dawson needs to be let go in the summer. The English centre-back is best suited to a side which are comfortable at being a mid-level Premier League side, rather than a side with Champions League qualification aspirations.
This paves the way for Spurs to bring in another centre-back - and Dejan Lovren or Toby Alderweireld could be pursued.
At full-back, Kyle Walker is the only player consistent enough to deserve a spot in the back four at present; left back is wide open for a player to make that position their own, and with Luke Shaw out of Spurs' range, it may be best to focus their sights on Swansea City’s Ben Davies, who has been dependable since Neil Taylor was injured last season.
Up front is a different proposition altogether. Spurs need to rely on a consistent goalscorer if they are to break back into the top four.
Belgian forwards Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku have been touted as potential acquisitions, but Daniel Levy would have to get his chequebook out and spend around the same figure he forked out for Roberto Soldado only eight months ago, if not more, for one of these two strikers.
In my opinion, Romelu Lukaku should be the number one target for Spurs. He has consistently scored goals for both West Bromwich Albion and Everton over the last year and a half, notching 12 goals this season and 17 for West Brom the season before.
Lukaku’s agent states he has been in contact with Daniel Levy over a possible £25m move, but Spurs’ relationship with Chelsea officials is frosty at best - and to salvage that could be a pipe dream for Spurs.
Andre Villas-Boas was initially interested in Christian Benteke in the summer, but instead the club opted for Roberto Soldado. Based on the interest last summer, and Benteke being crucial to Aston Villa, Spurs could be looking at a fee of around £22-25m for the striker.
A transfer for Christian Benteke was effectively suspended this week with reports emerging that the Villa forward has torn his Achilles tendon, resulting in him missing not only the World Cup, but probably the first two to three months of next season.
Surely any move before he is back to full fitness would be far too risky.
But, whether the men in power eye the players I've discussed above, or different targets altogether, one thing is comforting Spurs fans.
If Daniel Levy, Franco Baldini and Ian Broomfield acquire three signings in these key positions, then Spurs can force their way back into Champions League places next season.