Tottenham Hotspur: 4 Biggest Transfer Needs to Address This Summer
As Tottenham count the cost of Chelsea winning the Champions League denying them the chance to compete in the tournament next season, the task of improving the quality of the squad has been made all the more difficult.
Despite finishing fourth, Spurs will not have a place in the playoffs for Europe’s top competition next term, and as such will have to adjust their transfer targets accordingly.
For example, just a few months ago, the BBC was one of the many outlets quoting Eden Hazard that he could end up moving to White Hart Lane. However, the absence of Champions League football rubbed out even the remote possibility of that happening, and the Belgian attacker has now joined Chelsea instead, according to The Daily Mail.
Spurs need to strengthen in several key areas over the summer, but not being among European football’s elite is sure to hinder their pursuit of top targets.
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Brad Friedel has been an absolute trooper for Spurs this season and for the Premier League in general.
But at the age of 41, there is only so much longer Friedel can realistically still continue to play, even in a position where careers can extend far longer than most players.
With only perennial understudy Carlo Cudicini (who will himself turn 40 next year) and the gaffe-prone Heurelho Gomes (very much third choice), there need to be changes in the goalkeeping department this summer.
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This summer could see the end of an era at Tottenham as club captain Ledley King’s current contract expires.
One of the finest central defenders anywhere in England, King’s chronic knee problems have long been an issue, and the 31-year-old will have another operation before opening talks about a potential new deal.
With the aging William Gallas and Ryan Nelsen both turning 35 this summer, Michael Dawson’s long-term injury problems and Sebastien Bassong seemingly on his way out of the club, Younes Kaboul is the only Spurs centre-back whose future is fully assured.
The potential signing of Jan Vertonghen would certainly help, but there is still time for the Belgium international to be snapped up by another club.
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Gareth Bale is leaving the club, if the gossip pages are anything to go by.
However, even if the Welshman stays, then Spurs are still shy of proven Premier League level players with pace and skill on the wings who can deputise for either Bale or Aaron Lennon on the flanks.
Blackburn’s Junior Hoilett is a free agent this summer and has long been linked with a move to Spurs.
The Canadian’s versatility would make him an ideal addition to the squad and would save Spurs having to buy two more players to fill those positions.
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After taking him on loan from Manchester City last season, Emmanuel Adebayor’s return of 17 goals and 11 assists in the Premier League has surely earned him a permanent move to White Hart Lane.
Which is just as well, because apart from the Togolese centre-forward Louis Saha, who will be 34 when the new campaign kicks off in August, he is the only alternative.
There is, of course, Jermain Defoe, but the goal-poaching striker is unsuitable for the 4-4-1-1 formation that Harry Redknapp has brought through at Spurs so successfully.
Names like Loic Remy and Roberto Soldado were regularly mentioned when Spurs looked odds-on for a Champions League place. Now that is not the case, so it will be interesting to see what names are linked with them now.