It’s refreshing, isn’t it? Tottenham Hotspur are doing something unheard of – making signings before deadline day. In recent years, Spurs have regularly waited until the moments before the clock strikes midnight on September 1st to announce an incoming arrival. This has reaped rewards in the past, Rafael van der Vaart is a prime example, but it can also leave the team short of quality in order to save a few million pounds.
In the past 10 days, Andre Villas-Boas, Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson have all arrived at White Hart Lane and they are expected to be joined by Emmanuel Adebayor, after Spurs agreed a fee with Manchester City for the striker. It is hard not to get excited about the upcoming season at White Hart Lane and with signings believed to be in the pipeline, here is how Spurs could line-up next season.
(Note: line-up includes players that could arrive this summer)
CM: Parker (C)
Hugo Lloris in goal
Contradicting reports suggest that Hugo Lloris could be arriving from Olympique Lyonnais, whilst others suggest there is no move whatsoever for the France captain. Either way, his arrival would be a real sign of intent by the Spurs. At just 25-years-old, Lloris has firmly established himself as the French national teams’ number one keeper.
37 international caps with a further 257 during his club career means, despite his young age, Lloris already has an exceptionally high amount of experience. His approach, a modern day sweeper-keeper, would be well suited to Villas-Boas’ high defensive line. Unfortunately, this means that Brad Friedel would be dropped from the starting XI.
The American, now 41, has hinted that he could retire from football at the end of the season after admitting he is unlikely to extend his two-year deal at White Hart Lane. Friedel holds the record for the most consecutive Premier League appearances, currently standing at 314. However, his hesitancy to stray from the goal-line means he is not suited for Villas-Boas’ defensive style.
Scott Parker in midfield
The main debate for the holding midfielder role boils down to Scott Parker vs Sandro. It’s a tough choice to make for Villas-Boas, with both filling the role perfectly. The duo make great cases for their possible inclusion, however I’ve gone for Parker to start. With the defensive back-line likely to play a high line, coupled with Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Jan Vertonghen, Younes Kaboul and Kyle Walker all willing to break forward, a the player in position will need to be extremely disciplined.
With that in mind, Parker is the stronger of the two candidates. Sandro is excellent at breaking up play and driving forward from midfield, but is still culpable of the odd unnecessary foul. On top of that, his participation in the Olympics will likely see the Brazilian come back having played, potentially, six competitive games before the season starts. Furthermore, after last season, there is the possibility that Sandro could come back injured following his international involvement.
Adebayor on the right of a front three
With the signing of Adebayor moving closer to completion following Friday’s news, chances are high he will be turning out at White Hart Lane as a permanent arrival next year. As evidenced in the past, Villas-Boas prefers a front-three with two wide-man and a lone front-man leading the line. With that in mind, chances are the Togolese striker will be a starter next season.
However, more often than not, Adebayor tended to pull wide to support the build-up play rather than linger inside the 18-yard box. The 28-year-old may have ended the campaign with 18 league goals, but his 12 assists also speak words. As mentioned, Adebayor enjoys pulling out to the flanks to aid in the build-up.
With that in mind, a space on the right could help both the player himself and the team. Yet, his involvement on the right is all dependant on Leandro Damiao arriving. His signing will bolster the attacking line considerably and give Spurs not only a physical threat, but also a goalscoring one, as his record for Internacional demonstrates.
No van der Vaart
A controversial decision, as some might say, but one gets the feeling Spurs’ Flying Dutchman could be offloaded this summer, regardless of his comments today. Van der Vaart comes off as the type of player that would cause disharmony in the squad should things not be going his away. With that in mind, if he was to leave at all, this transfer window would be the best time to sell.
This isn’t to say that holding onto van der Vaart isn’t an option, far from it in fact, but with a return to Hamburg a possibility and his age playing a factor, the potential to sell is there. However, I believe that any move wouldn’t be possible unless a striker who can lead front-line arrives, i.e. Leandro.
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