Tottenham have become known as the team most conservative of all the top six clubs when it comes to the transfer market. Over the last few transfer windows, have opted to prioritise keeping their most important players through extending their contracts, rather than bringing in fresh blood to improve the starting eleven. This summer has been a real disappointment as Levy hasn’t brought in a single first team player. With Tottenham way off the eventual champions Manchester City, this summer represented a perfect opportunity to freshen up the squad and potentially find those hidden gems that were found with the signings of the likes of Alderweireld and Son. So what should Tottenham have done this summer? These are the moves I think they should have made.
OUT: Toby Alderweireld
Despite the Belgian centre back being a crucial player to Tottenham over the past few seasons next to Vertonghen, there is a clause in his contract that states that if Tottenham extend his contract by a year, which they will as it runs out next summer, then a £25 million release clause would be activated. This seems to be an obvious chance to cash in on the Belgian as not only is he at his peak market price but he is also 29, turning 30 in March. With Manchester United interested, Tottenham could have probably gotten £45-£50 million for him, which represents good business.
IN: Thilo Kerher
Replacing Alderweireld Tottenham could have pursued the 21 year old German Thilo Kerher from Schalke. The young centre back would have likely cost Tottenham £25-£30 million, though he comes with bags of potential and has already played a full season for Schalke in the Bundesliga. Kerher has excellent tackling ability particularly in the slide tackle. He is a quick centre back which would have suited Tottenham’s system relying on a high line to implement high pressure. Kerher is also good on the ball and can bring the ball out of the defensive line and play passes into the centre midfield, replacing the ball playing ability of Alderweireld.
OUT: Danny Rose
Danny Rose a few seasons ago looked like he was set for a big money move to either of the Manchester giants, though now in 2018 he has fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham behind Ben Davies. Now 28, Tottenham could still have got around £15-£18 million for the England full back and freed up a place in the squad for a younger full back with greater potential.
IN: Jose Luis Gaya
The 23 year old Spaniard has been looked at by some of the major clubs in Europe since his emergence in the Valencia first team a few seasons back. The full back was only dribbled past at a rate of 0.7 per game last season in La Liga, made 1.2 key passes per game and 1.2 dribbles per game, which shows his attacking capability and his defensive solidity that Pochettino demands of his full backs and wing backs. Gaya would likely have cost Tottenham around £30 million, though at 23, this represents good value in the current full back market.
OUT: Erik Lamela
The Argentine has struggled since joining Tottenham in the summer of 2013 but at the age of 26, Lamela would still be able to command a high fee for any transfer out of Spurs this summer. Tottenham should have used the deadwood in the squad in order to raise funds for reinforcements. Lamela could have been sold abroad for a fee of around £20 million considering the winger has shown ability during periods in London.
IN: Dani Ceballos
With Mousa Dembele 31 now, Tottenham need a replacement in the centre of midfield. Pochettino’s 4-2-3-1 or 5-2-2-1 system relies on the dribbling ability of one of the centre midfielders, with Dembele’s power and control making him perfect for the role. The young Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos would have been perfect for this role. During his final and best season at Real Betis in 2016/17 Ceballos completed 2.7 dribbles which was the fourth most in La Liga that season. A similar type of player to Mateo Kovacic, Ceballos offers the ability to dribble past players in central areas, which would have been a great asset for Tottenham to have with dembele ageing. Ceballos could be used in a two in midfield alongside Wanyama or Dier, as Dembele rarely plays more than 25 games in a Premier League season. Ceballos would probably cost Tottenham around £30-£35 million, though he is 21 which means this is a low cost investment and his market price will no doubt increase as he reaches 24 and 25.
OUT: Fernando Llorente, Moussa Sissoko, Vincent Janssen
Tottenham are stockpiled with deadwood and should have spent the summer trying to get these players off their books. Fernando Llorente was a strange buy in January 2017 when Tottenham signed the ageing striker for £12 million and on big wages. Now 33, Tottenham may not be able to get a fee for the player but should have looked at allowing him to leave on a free or a loan where they pay a percentage of his wages. Sissoko was also a strange signing and has stayed on the fringes of the Tottenham starting eleven. Daniel Levy probably could have received a transfer fee for Sissoko for around £8 million, though his wages may have caused problems for any potential buying club. Vincent Janssen is still only 24, so it’s a surprise that Tottenham haven’t been able to move him on. Though the reason may be Tottenham’s high asking price. Despite this Janssen could have still brought in around £9 million for Tottenham which despite being a loss on the £22 million they paid for him, it would have been better than letting him lose value on the subs bench.
In: Sandro Ramirez
Tottenham have needed a quality backup to Harry Kane since he’s emergence and Sandro Ramirez despite having a troubled time at Everton, showed during his spell at Malaga and Barcelona he is a quality striker for any European club. Still 23 and not expensive considering Everton would have probably demanded £10 million for the player, he would have been a low risk signing for Tottenham, in an area that they need reinforcement.