Category Archives: Tottenham Hotspur

Which midfielders should Tottenham sign in the summer window?

On June 1st 2019, Tottenham Hotspur played Liverpool FC in the Champions League final, unfortunately losing 2-0 after a first half penalty from Mohammed Salah and a second half finish by Divock Origi. However, if you were to suggest that Spurs would have ended up with a top 4 finish and a shot at winning the Champions League after being the first ever club to not make a signing in a transfer window since the current format came into existence in 2003, it would have been considered a bold prediction to say the least. In fact, it is their last signing, Lucas Moura, who has been instrumental in their run, scoring a hat-trick to come back against Ajax and secure Tottenham’s place in the final.

However, there were times during their last campaign where their lack of squad depth started to affect their performance after a slew of injuries, and this contributed to their poor end to the season. This was evident in their midfield. Therefore, if they do decide to spend big in the summer, this might be the area they choose to focus on. We have identified 3 transfers Spurs could invest in to address this dilemma.

Giovanni Lo Celso

Lo Celso appears to be Tottenham Hotspurs first target of the summer, with BBC Sport reporting that they had submitted a £53 million bid for the player. Lo Celso spent last season on loan from PSG with Real Betis and impressed with his crucial performances, Betis exercised their option to buy the player. Lo Celso was Betis’ topscorer in the league with 9 goals and contributed 4 assists and is probably seen by Tottenham as the perfect successor to Moussa Dembele. Since the Belgian began to suffer from recurrent injuries and then eventually moved to Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F, Spurs have been missing an elite level ball progresser in their midfield, but they may have found their answer in Lo Celso.

According to Whoscored, across the 2018/19 season Lo Celso contributed to 2.1 tackles and interceptions per game while completing 2 dribbles and 0.8 key passes. Comparing this to Dembele’s 2017/18 season where he contributed 2.5 tackles and interceptions a game, 2.4 dribbles and 0.6 key passes, we can clearly see the similar traits that Tottenham see in the young Argentinian midfielder. Signing Lo Celso will allow Tottenham to quickly turn defence into attack and allow for more effective transitional play. He provides the North London outfit with a different option in midfield to what they currently have with Wanyama, Winks and Dier and therefore would be a fantastic signing.

The midfielder has a £88 million release clause meaning Tottenham may have to bid more in order to get their man, but if they were to secure the signing it would be a quality move.

James Maddison

With the future of Christian Eriksen’s career increasingly in doubt (the Danish midfielder’s contract expires in 2020) Tottenham may have to spend big in the transfer market to find a replacement. Eriksen joined for a bargain fee of £12 million in 2013 and has performed spectacularly for the Lilywhites, most recently scoring 8 goals and registering 12 assists in the 2018/19 Premier League season. His creative output cannot be understated and is an important part of the Tottenham offensive line, therefore it is important they replace him. Enter James Maddison.

When Leicester spent £24 million on the young English midfielder, they probably did not realise they were making the signing of the season. His numbers were impressive in the Championship; he scored 14 goals and provided 8 assists, while completing 2.8 key passes a game and 2.4 dribbles, but it was common belief that his numbers would suffer as he stepped up to a bigger league. However, while his goals and assists dropped to 7 and 7 respectively, Maddison has taken the league by storm this season, he has kept his average of 2.8 key passes a game (0.7 more than Eriksen has at Tottenham) and more importantly, according to Opta Sports, he was the only player to create 100 chances in the Premier League this season.

It would take a large bid to part Leicester with what can now be considered their prized asset, but if he was to move it seems he would almost seamlessly fit into Tottenham’s offence.

Tanguy Ndombele

The final target that I feel needs to be addressed is that of Tanguy Dembele. The transfer links to the French midfielder are not in short supply, with both Manchester City and Manchester United apparently being interested in the midfielder. But what would he offer Tottenham?

Tanguy Ndombele is a high energy midfielder, who has registered 1 goal and 7 assists for Lyon in Ligue 1 this season. The midfielder you could most compare him to in Tottenham’s midfield is Mousa Sissoko, who seems a completely new player this season, with his pressing ability making him the engine to an otherwise stationary Tottenham midfield. However, Sissoko turns 30 this year and has arguably left it a little too late to enter the form of his life and there is no guarantee that he will continue this form into next season, due to his track record of inconsistency. Tottenham may look to replace him with what looks to be the younger, hungrier model who has a much higher ceiling.

Ndombele registered 2.8 tackles and interceptions per game last season and completed 1.9 dribbles per game, so like Lo Celso he is highly press resistant and would allow Tottenham to quickly counter.  With this transfer it appears it will be either/or between Ndombele and Lo Celso as neither would likely want to play second string. Transfermarkt.com values Ndombele at 50 million euros, so if Betis were to push for Tottenham to play Lo Celso’s release clause, he may be the slightly cheaper option. With the purse strings appearing to be tight due to the construction of Tottenham’s new stadium, this may appeal to Levy and the rest of the board.

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UEFA Champions League Final – The All English Road to Madrid

Some 11 years after Manchester United prevailed against Chelsea, Saturday marks the 2nd all English UEFA Champions League Final in history; as Liverpool take on Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Tottenham manager Pochettino had his work cut out for him from the start, facing a challenging group of Barcelona, PSV and Inter Milan. Spurs and Inter tied for second place on points and goal difference, with Spurs only reaching the knockout rounds by tallying more goals in total.

They immediately made an impact in the round of 16, thrashing German giants Borussia Dortmund 3-0 at Wembley; furthermore consolidating their Champions League status by winning the away leg as well.

It appeared that Spurs’ UCL dreams could be quickly over, as they drew Treble winning Manchester City in the quarterfinals. Pochettino managed to lead his side to a 1-0 victory in their first Champions League game in the new stadium, and the away leg in Manchester was one to remember. Spurs scraped their way through to the Semi-Finals, following an enthralling game filled by VAR and controversy. They lost the second leg 4-3 but secured their place through the away goal rule.

The London team further shocked the football world when achieving their place in this years UCL final; a second-half hat trick from Lucas Moura including an injury-time winning goal was what it took to overcome Ajax. This will be The Lilywhites first European final since 1984, where they beat Anderlecht to raise the UEFA Cup.

Few teams in this year’s competition had a harder run than Liverpool. Following the backlash that Klopp’s men received in the 2017/18 UCL for their somewhat easy run of fixtures, the Reds’ have certainly earned their place this year in Madrid. Having survived arguably the toughest group stage in this years competition – consisting of Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli – Liverpool then surged on to defeat domestic-double winning Bayern-Munich and Porto.

The Reds semi-final victory is bound to go down in the history books after an astonishing night at Anfield. Facing Barcelona, Klopp had his work cut out for him; even more so after losing the first leg 3-0 in Spain, and star attackers Salah and Firmino injured.

Nearly everybody would have thought Barcelona were through to another UCL Final, their first since they last won the trophy in 2015. At Anfield, Origi opened the scoring early, following a rapid brace from newly substituted Wijnaldum. In the 79th minute, the stadium filled with ecstasy. Origi managed to get his second, and Liverpool had triumphed. The game was one that flooded fans with the nostalgia of that night in Istanbul in 2005.

Alongside the UCL, Liverpool’s fantastic run in the Premier League spurred themselves and Manchester City to the highest two team point total in Premier League history, being narrowly beaten by The Blues by a single point. Having not lost a game since 3rd of March, along with a series of injuries to the XI including Mohammed Sarah, Roberto Firmino and Joe Gomez as well as long term injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana.

Tottenham performed well in this year’s Premier League season, finishing 4th and securing their place for next years European competition. Very few people would have expected them to reach this stage, so will they go on to cause an upset? England’s star striker Harry Kane left the field injured during their victory over Manchester City in the UCL and has yet to make a return to action. There is a slight doubt of his fitness, but facing Liverpool, Pochettino needs all the firepower he can get. Sanchez, Winks and Vertonghen are also doubted for the clash against Liverpool.

Liverpool may have the psychological difference going into the game, following their success in the Premier League this season. The Reds’ beat Spurs both home and away 2-1 on each occasion. They are certainly favourites to win this years competition and will be seeking revenge following last years disastrous loss to Real Madrid. We predict Liverpool will prevail, and win the game 3-1.

Five young Championship players who could step up to the Premier League this summer

The quality of the Championship has undoubtedly soared over recent years and as a result their are many young players making a name for themselves in English footballs second tier. With players such as Dele Alli and Harry Maguire beginning their careers outside the top flight and now starring in the Premier League with full international honours, it is clear that there is real talent out there. But which young Championship stars are ready to make the step up now?

Mason Mount, Derby (Loan)- The young loanee from Chelsea has really made an impact at Derby this season and has led them all the way to the play off final. With 11 goals and 6 assists the 20 year old has been in fine form despite a few injury troubles, and with Chelsea’s current transfer embargo Mount could become a key player for Sarri’s side next term. If not he will almost definitely be on loan at another Premier League club after proving he is a cut above Championship level. He has all the key skills a good attacking midfielder needs but is also not afraid to do the dirty work, tracking back and putting challenges in, expect big things from Mount over the coming years.

Daniel James, Swansea- Heavily linked with a big money move to Manchester United, Swansea winger Daniel James has turned heads with his incredible pace, dribbling skills and end product. The 21 year old was close to joining Leeds in January but the deal fell through at the last minute, contrary to many other players who’s form nosedives after a failed transfer, James continued his stellar form and recorded three goals and five assists after Christmas to take his overall tally to 5 goals and 10 assists in 38 games. The Welsh international went viral earlier this season after a goal he scored against Brentford highlighted his immense pace as he sped through the whole defence from just inside his own box and finished well.

Marcus Tavernier, Middlesbrough- Brother of Rangers captain James Tavernier, Marcus has made a name for himself on his own right after a string of promising performances for Tony Pulis Middlesbrough during 18/19. The left winger has broke through this season making 27 appearances and recording four goals and three assists with many feeling he would be the perfect replacement for Ryan Fraser at Bournemouth. Eddie Howe has a reputation for giving football league prospects a chance such as Callum Wilson and David Brooks and a move to the South Coast could be the perfect place for the 20 year old to develop.

Che Adams, Birmingham- The 22 year old striker has just enjoyed the best season of his career with Birmingham and has bagged 22 goals in 48 games, not missing a single League game and finally turning that potential into consistent performances. His finishing has dramatically improved and he is now much stronger, allowing him to hold the ball up much better and bring teammates into play. Premier League clubs such as Burnley, Crystal Palace and Southampton are interested in Adams and it seems inevitable the Leicester born goal scorer will be playing Premier League football next season, the only question is where?

Jarrod Bowen, Hull- Winger Jarrod Bowen has built on a very good 17/18 and upped the ante this term grabbing more goals, assists and playing more games. Playing predominantly off the right hand side cutting inside onto his left foot, Bowen has bewildered many fullbacks this season and almost managed the impossible of carrying a very average Hull side to the play offs. Unsurprisingly he picked up the player of the year, the fans player of the year and the players player of the year at the end of season awards and rumour has it Champions League finalists Tottenham are sniffing around the 22 year old.

Who do you think would have the biggest impact on the Premier League?

Spurs: Will Their New Stadium Benefit Them

Finally, after months of preparation, Spurs are going to be opening their new stadium, so that they can play their home matches there.

Built at a cost of 1billion pounds, and that you can see through the video below, showing the time lapse build.

 

Which in part explains why there were so many delays and hiccups with it, it finally hosted its first football match last weekend, when Spurs U18s hosted Southampton U18s.

It has been suggested that the Arsenal Clock end and Spurs new stand look eerily similar, prompting Arsenal Fans to suggest that Spurs are obsessed with Arsenal.

Either way the new stadium looks good and with the extra capacity it can now hold, this will surely benefit Spurs, who like Arsenal, are and have been for a number of years, building a squad and bringing through home grown talent.

Under the Ownership of Daniel Levy, who it is rumoured drives a very hard bargain, Spurs are now, on an equal footing, stadium wise with Man City, Arsenal and Man Utd when it comes to the numbers they will now be able to get into the stadium.

TalkSport commentator Ian Abraham, rates the new stadium as one of the best he has seen in Europe, however, while that may be true in his eyes, this will no doubt upset Arsenal Fans, who will see their impressive stadium, as being easier on the eye and with more space all around.

So will Spurs benefit from the new stadium?

The answer to that is yes in the Long run, as long as they can qualify for the champions league each year, then the extra revenue, generated means that they can invest in the right type of players for the first team squad, so that they can mount a serious challenge for the premiership title, which, right now, is just beyond them, compared to the riches held at Liverpool and Man City.

So all in all, Spurs will benefit from the new stadium ?

 

Why have so many players withdrawn from the England Squad

Within hours of the latest England Squad being named for this weekends European Championship qualifiers, there were almost immediate withdrawals from

John Stones and Fabian Delph of Manchester City

Luke Shaw of Manchester United

Ruben Loftus Cheek of Chelsea

These were joined by, Trent Alexander Arnold of Liverpool, yesterday, with a back injury.

Now at face value, withdrawals from International Squads are not uncommon at all, but what makes these withdrawals so interesting, is that all the players that have, all played for their clubs, the previous weekend, either in the Premier League or the FA Cup

At a time when, the feel good factor, is well and truly back with supporters for the national team, compared to previous  times, when due to the management in charge at the time, you almost expected withdrawals to happen, to get so many so quickly in these circumstances is, surprising to say the least

What makes it even more surprising is the fact that in all bar Trent Alexander Arnold’s case, the injuries are described as Injuries, which is vague at best. With Alexander Arnold, it is known he has had a back injury since March 10th and has tried hard to get it better, joining up with England in the hope it would speed the recovery up.

It has to be said Loftus Cheeks withdrawal was a surprise, given that he played for Chelsea at the Weekend and had a decent game, looking fit and sharp and not like someone who was carrying an injury.

The same is true of Luke Shaw, who played in Man Utds FA Cup defeat to Wolves, but again looked fit and sharp and had a relatively decent game, which is on top of his coming back from injury previously to regain his England Shirt.

So what prompts these withdrawals, is it because the matches scheduled are not deemed important enough in relation to what is happening at their clubs.

For example Chelsea are battling it out for a top 4 finish.

Manchester City are well on course for a quadruple and it is well known if you lose your place in that team, its very hard work to get it back.

The speculation will continue, but as the door shuts this time through the withdrawals for some, it opens up for others to showcase their talents such as James Ward Prowse, the Under rated star of Southampton.