Tottenham has yet to sign a player this summer transfer window, but their patience in the market shows that Chairman Daniel Levy may have learned from last year’s glut of signings. The Spurs had a very large transfer budget last year because they sold the world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale, to Real Madrid. Using that money, the club decided to sign seven players: Christian Eriksen, Vlad Chiriches, Erik Lamela, Etienne Capoue, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho. The number of signings, and the club’s inconsistent results, likely contributed to the sacking of both Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood, neither of which could find a dependable starting eleven for the Spurs.
Tottenham has sold one player and released two others so far, and are looking to offload a few others to make room for some new signings. Jake Livermore was transferred to Hull City for a fee of around £8 million. The Spurs released both Hueurelho Gomes and Cameron Lancaster this year, with the former signing a new contract with Watford.
The Mirror reports that Levy wants to sell both Gylfi Sigurdsson and Michael Dawson for a combined fee of around £15 million. Sigurdsson has expressed his desire to stay at the London club and prove his skills on the pitch to the new Tottenham manager, Mauricio Pochettino. Levy wanted to sell the Icelandic international to Swansea as part of a deal for the left back Ben Davies. Dawson, on the other hand, is happy to leave, but has not agreed to terms with Hull City for a £5 million move. Dawson reportedly wants a four-year contract, but the Tigers are reluctant to commit to such a long deal for the 31-year-old.
This summer’s lack of signings in the transfer market shows that Tottenham, and more importantly Daniel Levy, are willing to be patient and let Pochettino put his stamp on the London club this year. Pockettino is known for implementing a high-pressing style of play, where players defend in groups, fight to get the ball back quickly, and attack with speed on the counter.
The Spurs are headed over to North America for a summer preseason tour, with their first game on Saturday, July 19, against the MLS-leading Seattle Sounders. They will then travel east to play the Chicago Fire and Toronto FC, where former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe is now playing his trade. Pochettino will use the three games to see who fits best in his system and who does not. The Spurs have no shortage of attacking options on paper with eight international central midfielders, a number of versatile wingers, and a handful of strong strikers.
Tottenham has done a good bit of business for themselves already. They recently signed first-team goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to a new five-year contract. The contract extension is crucial for the Spurs, as Lloris is one of the best keepers in the world at the moment. There were reports earlier in the summer that PSG might be looking to poach the French international.
If Pochettino does decide he needs to sell some of the Spurs’ players, there are a good few rumors swirling around the media about who will be brought in to replace the exits. The biggest three rumors are Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann, Swansea left back Ben Davies, and PSV winger and wonder-kid Zakaria Bakkali. Griezmann would be an excellent signing, and with Erik Lamela lining up on the opposite flank, Tottenham could have two of the best young wingers in England.
Ben Davies is almost a must-have for the Spurs. He would be a vast improvement over Danny Rose, who struggled much of last year. Davies would also be an investment in the future as he is just 21-years-old. The signing of Bakkali would be one for the future in all likelihood. There is a strong possibility that the Spurs would loan the Belgian to another club to ensure steady playing time for the youngster to develop. The Spurs have also been linked to a number of strikers, notably Swansea’s Wilfried Bony and Chelsea’s Romelu Lukaku, who Juventus have been reported to be courting.
Tottenham also need to find another backup keeper. The American Brad Friedel is now 43-years-old and is a good option when in a pinch, but his time in top-flight English football is waning. The Telegraph has reported that Swansea’s Michel Vorm is a likely replacement, and The Mirror has said that he could become part of the Sigurdsson deal if it ever comes to fruition.
Pochettino will have three games to decide if the Spurs need to dip into the transfer market. Having signed seven players last year, the London club may just need to give time for their players to gel together, as well as having the stability of one manager over the course of the season to reach their full form. Pochettino will hope that Levy’s patience in the transfer window so far this year will roll over to Tottenham’s performances on the pitch early in the upcoming season.
Commentary by B. Taylor Rash