Tottenham have to target squad players in the transfer market
A concrete first eleven along with a rigid wage structure combine to cause headaches for Daniel Levy and Tottenham when it comes to bringing in big-name players.
Tottenham and chairman Daniel Levy have a very particular way of doing business.
With a rigid wage structure in place, alongside a new stadium worth near £1 billion, Tottenham simply do not have the funds that the other top six such as Manchester City have available.
Manager Mauricio Pochettino has stated “we are a club where we sign opportunities” and will only strike when the time is right. “United want Alexis and so they go for him,” Pochettino explains. “We are in different positions and different realities at the moment.”
A settled starting XI
However, funds are not the only reason that Tottenham have to think carefully about how they approach new signings.
With all players fit, Tottenham more or less have a very settled first choice starting eleven.
Hugo Lloris is their number one and, defensively, they have formed a brick wall with three excellent centre halves, having four full backs to choose from.
In midfield, they have the perfect mix of steel in the form of Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele, creativity in Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Winks, and up front a strike force of Harry Kane and Heung Min Son always prove dangerous.
In addition, Erik Lamela is always ready for action off the bench and Eric Dier is able to fit in comfortably in multiple positions.
Coming into the side
As a result, any new Tottenham signings must know the starting eleven of the club is more or less locked in place and that they must bide their time on the sidelines before competing from kickoff.
In light of this fact, Spurs have had trouble attracting star players in the past, with the squad players that have been brought in to the club being very hit or miss.
Vincent Janssen, Moussa Sissoko and Fernando Llorente have all been signed as a formidable squad or back up players to make an impact off the bench or in cup games.
However, the lack of game time provided may have affected the way these players have performed on the pitch.
That is not to say that all of Spurs recent transfers have been failures.
Davinson Sanchez has been brought in specifically to play in a defensive three alongside Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld.
With the Colombian just 21 years of age, Daniel Levy did not hesitate in handing £36 million to Ajax to buy the youngster who will be at the club for years to come.
Levy has witnessed the potential that Sanchez will bring to the club and, while he was not a readymade superstar, Tottenham signed an opportunity.
Much the same in the previous transfer window, with Spurs needing more muscle in midfield. Pochettino snapped up Wanyama from his former club in Southampton, whose defensive stability has complimented the robust, driving Dembele in midfield.
A first XI player for a transfer fee of £12.96 million, the Kenyan is a typical Daniel Levy signing.
This transfer window, Tottenham have again found themselves in a similar position.
Their first 11-15 players are well settled. However, they do lack quality off the bench in case of an injury or suspension.
New signing Lucas Moura was an opportunity that Levy could not refuse, with the Brazilian winger on the outer fringes at PSG since Neymar was brought to the club.
At a reported fee of £25 million, Lucas’ rapid pace will bring a different style to Tottenham’s play. But he will not be a walk into the starting eleven.
Spurs fans will hope, then, that the Brazilian can offer an option off the bench, giving a sense of depth to Pochettino’s squad.
Time will tell
His new manager has reiterated that Moura will have to work for his spot in the side.
“He needs to show that he is better than our players. That is the fair competition. If you are in Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar arrives, if he is better than you, then he plays,” the Argentine said in a recent interview.
“It’s fair, he’s better. If not, then they need to compete. Lucas must compete with Lamela, with Sonny, with Eriksen.”
Time will tell whether Lucas will be a hit or miss but he certainly will need to prove himself to gain regular game time.