As the European championships are drawing closer to a fantastic end, football clubs all over Europe, especially in England, are gearing up for the domestic football to begin – to set pulses racing for fans and everyone who is involved alike. Tottenham Hotspur, after what was a remarkable season in 2015/16, bar the finish – have gone under the radar in the summer a bit – owing to some big managerial arrivals at some of the biggest clubs in England – adding to the excitement ahead of the new re-branded edition of the Premier League.
Pochettino’s Spurs have made just one signing so far in this window – midfield enforcer Victor Wanyama, who the manager is familiar with, after his impressive spell with Southampton. The Argentine is clearly looking to bolster his attacking options – to provide much needed support for star striker Harry Kane in a bid to lift the weight of shoulders to avoid a burn out – which has, in truth, affected him in France. Kane managed to score 20 plus goals for the second season in a row – and if Spurs were to keep him firing for 2016/17, it’s time they brought in another forward of his calibre to keep him on his toes – which is exactly what Mauricio Pochettino seems to be trying to do, by the look of things.
Spurs have been linked with some of the most in-form forwards in Europe at the moment – including Batshuayi who recently signed for Chelsea – leaving them now with Inter Milan’s Icardi and Roma’s Antonio Sanabria (on loan at Gijon). Comparing them with Spurs’ current marksman Harry Kane has indeed produced some interesting results. It’s easy to see why Inter Milan have rejected Spurs’ initial offer of €45m for their top scorer Icardi – with the 23-year old scoring 16 goals in 33 appearances – almost 1 in 2 in a league composed of defenders as hard as nails.
Not a prolific dribbler by any means, but the Argentine can hold the ball very well allowing creative midfielders to venture into the box – in the mould of Harry Kane, who could be more than just a filler when the English striker is out injured. While Sanabria is certainly a different type of striker who could add things that Kane cannot to Spurs in that – he is quicker and likes to dribble, better header of the ball than Icardi (Kane is a very good in the air himself) having scored 3 of his 11 goals in 27 appearances with his head. Not to mention, Sanabria has got a dangerous free kick in him, something that Harry Kane does seem to lack which was all too evident in the European championships.
When it comes to other aspects besides goals, Harry Kane, with his chance creation and the ability to link up play with attacking midfielders creating spaces, has showed why he is one of the most sought after forwards in the league at the minute. But Icardi has managed to win a higher percentage of his duels on the ground and in the air, indicative of his strength and at only 23, he could only get stronger and better under a manager who probably knows him a lot better than people may assume having come from the same country.
Having missed out on Belgian wonderkid Batshuayi to London rivals Chelsea (surprise!), Tottenham will need to reassure its fans of their strength in the market by signing a player who could make a difference to their starting eleven immediately rather than bringing in a potentially top footballer who might struggle to get into the side now – when the season is at its most competitive. They have taken the appropriate steps in identifying the right player(s) that could lift the morale and confidence of the team and add extra quality which they seemed to run out of towards the end of last season, but now comes the hard part. Making that count and signing one of them ahead of the pre-season and start working towards a better 2016/17.