Breaking Down Biggest Transfer Needs and Potential Targets of Tottenham Hotspur

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 26:  Andre Villas-Boas, manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on December 26, 2012 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Will Tottenham Hotspur make a major splash in the January transfer window? Or will the team—currently in fourth place and playing excellent soccer—decide to stay put with the team composed as it is?

If you listen to manager Andre Villas-Boas, it's probably the latter. I'm sure the fans won't like that, and he may simply be keeping his intentions close to the vest. As noted by The Guardian, it would be a surprise if Tottenham didn't make a splash in January:

Villas-Boas has an almost fully fit squad and says that he will add nobody. Then again, he was guilty of telling a few porkies over the summer and it is not like Tottenham to remain quiet during a transfer window. The squad needs a striker and cover at full-back and in wide midfield.

The Guardian adds that Shakhtar Donetsk's Willian, F.C. Porto's João Moutinho, Real Madrid's Fábio Coentrão, Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente and Crystal Palace youngster Wilfried Zaha will all be targets.

Internacional striker Leandro Damiao, Porto's Christian Atsu, Malaga midfielder Isco and Inter's Wesley Sneijder have also been linked to Tottenham, though the latter might be a few pipe dreams inspiring a bit of speculation.

Villas-Boas and chairman Daniel Levy are sure to make another push to land Moutinho after just missing out on him over the summer. Porto will likely be reluctant to sell, as the team qualified for the Champions League's knockout phase, but Spurs could make them an offer hard to refuse. 

Still, Sandro and Mousa Dembele have become one of the best pairs of central midfielders in the Premier League, if not the top pair, so adding Moutinho would be an amazing luxury. If the team reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3, imagine those three patrolling the midfield together.

Adding Isco would be an excellent move in that regard as well, though Spurs fans will likely have their hearts set on Moutinho or Sneijder. 

Zaha is one of the most sought-after youngsters in the world, and it's unlikely Tottenham will win that wage war.

Given how Tottenham have seemed to rotate between a 4-2-3-1, 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 this season, it's hard to pinpoint one position that dramatically needs attention. The team is pretty solid on the wings and would be just fine in the attack with Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor if it regularly plays with a single striker up top.

Yes, adding a touch more class there would be nice, but there are bigger needs.

The versatile Coentrão is an intriguing option, as he can play multiple positions out wide and even centrally in the midfield, though he will likely only be dangled by Real Madrid as a sweetener to a bid for Gareth Bale. Surely, Tottenham will try to madly hold off that pursuit.

Here's what I would expect: Tottenham will try to make one big splash, ideally Moutinho, and will look to solidify other needs with a small move or two. Perhaps the team will add a signing or two for depth to aid the defense.

Tottenham can't rest on its laurels, but it shouldn't shake things up too much, either. The team is 6-1-1 in its last eight Premier League games, and has excellent momentum heading into the second half of the season. 

For Levy and Villas-Boas, this transfer window must be about complementing the talent already available, not completely disrupting the team's chemistry. It's a fine line to walk, but doing so could be the difference between a Champions League spot next year and another season that ends in disappointment.


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