Who Are Spurs Most Likely To Sign In The Next Transfer Window?
The Premier League summer transfer window opens on July 27 and will not close until October 5, 2020, meaning the annual speculation frenzy has only been delayed by one month despite the coronavirus pandemic.
In a way, the summer transfer window is a bit like professional wrestling – fans who lap it up know deep down that 99% of what we see or hear is not remotely true, but a bigger part of them wants to believe the narrative that suits their own agenda.
In that respect the summer transfer rumour mill is largely a form of entertainment for fans eagerly awaiting the next season to begin, but despite apprehensions about the financial future of football while we wait for spectators to return to stadiums, clubs will still do business with each other.
One of those clubs in need of an overhaul more than most is Tottenham, who have somehow fallen from Champions League finalists last season to battling with Wolves for a top six finish this term, with Europa League qualification still on the line.
Their already suspect defence is about to become weaker with Jan Vertonghen set to leave the club on a free transfer, so it’s a little surprising to see just one defender (Max Aarons) in our list of Tottenham’s 10 most likely transfer targets, ranked in order of likelihood of signing through bookmakers’ transfer odds.
Top 10 Tottenham Transfer Targets
|Gareth Bale||3/1||888 Sport|
As you can see, Queens Park Rangers midfielder Eberechi Eze appears to be Spurs’ most likely signing this summer, though they will possibly have to outbid West Ham and Everton who are also reportedly keen.
It’s notable that none of the midfielders set to be most fashionable when it comes to transfer rumours this summer – i.e. Jack Grealish (22/1), James Maddison (12/1) and Philippe Coutinho (12/1) – make the top 10. A measure of how far Tottenham’s stock has fallen, perhaps, but 22-year-old Eze has been one of the Championship’s brightest performers this season.
But is midfield really a priority for Tottenham? Not according to former Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who says defence should be the main concern for Jose Mourinho, who he stresses must be given time to remould a broken squad into his own shape.
“He needs a couple of transfer windows because the squad is unbalanced,” Robinson told Gambling.com.
“There’s a lot of attacking midfielders and general attacking quality in the team but defensively they’re about to lose Jan Vertonghen.
Robinson made 175 appearances for Tottenham between 2004 and 2008, scoring once (© PA Images)
“Mourinho has got to be given time. You can’t expect a manager to come in and work wonders with a team that was already struggling and not playing particularly well. He has to be allowed to put his own stamp on it and bring in some players that he wants.
“He’s a world-class manager, a proven winner, and we can’t judge him at Tottenham until half-way through next season at the earliest, after which time he’ll have had at least two transfer windows and time to assess and change his squad.”
Indeed, Mourinho’s pull factor could see them target bigger names, and it’s notable to see the likes of Gareth Bale, Willian and Thomas Lemar featured in our list above.
Despite being unwanted at Real Madrid and forever adored at Tottenham, the Bale deal may prove hard to put together given the scale of the Welshman's contract at the Bernabeu, which is perhaps why some bookmakers offer as long as 10/1 on him re-signing for Spurs.
Lingard To Spurs?
One name on the list Tottenham fans may not wish to see is Jesse Lingard, who looks set to satisfy odds of 40/1 by going a full Premier League season without a goal or assist, a bet requested and placed by one savvy punter.
However, before Spurs fans knock any potential move, it’s worth noting that Lingard’s career-best performances came under the tutelage of Mourinho at Old Trafford, where he was once renowned as a ‘big-game’ player with a keen eye for goal, scoring 13 goals in all competitions in 2017-18.
During that phase, his transfer market value soared to £36million, according to transfermarkt.co.uk, but it now sits at less than half of that at £15.75m. On that basis, there is a case for claiming Lingard is worth a crack. He has been capped 24 times by England after all and, at 27, could possibly peak under the right management.
Could Mourinho be the right man to revitalise Lingard’s career? Robinson certainly feels he has the ability to get the best out of certain players.
“I was surprised when Pochettino got the sack at the time, but when Jose came in I was really excited,” he said.
“I was wondering were we going to get the Jose that was at Manchester United, where he seemingly wanted to fight the whole world, or the one who was at Chelsea when he had a great relationship with his players and won trophy after trophy.
“When he came in at Spurs, he looked as though he’d found his love of football again and he had a point to prove. He’s been brought in for a reason and now we’re finally starting to see results and performances where the players are playing for him.”
Much of that upturn in form in the closing stages of the season has been down to the return to form of Harry Kane, but if Mourinho can convince the club captain to stay – he’s 6/4 to join Champions League bound Manchester United this summer – then the pieces of his Tottenham puzzle will surely come together next term.
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