After a frustrating summer in which Tottenham became the first team in Premier League history to fail to sign a single player during the transfer window, Mauricio Pochettino’s side is in need of some new faces ahead of what could be a title run-in for the Lilywhites.
While positive results in the league currently see them safely in the top four, Spurs have ridden their luck at times, and their ongoing stadium woes have contributed to a subdued mood at the club. Some transfer activity could be just the thing to lift spirits, give the fans something to get excited about, and provide some much-needed relief to a stretched squad.
With players succumbing to injuries, question marks over the futures of key personnel, and a crowded fixture list to contend with as they continue to compete on four fronts, here are six potential signings Spurs should be looking at this January.
6. Abdoulaye Doucouré
With Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembélé appearing to be on their way out, and Moussa Sissoko inconsistent, central midfield is a key area of concern for Tottenham. Abdoulaye Doucouré could be a smart addition, having impressed in his two and a half years at Watford.
With three goals and five assists to his name so far this season, the Frenchman has proven himself both a strong presence and reliable provider for the Hornets. His powerful box to box movement would make him a valuable asset to the Pochettino’s high press, and as close to a direct replacement for Mousa Dembélé as Spurs are likely to find in the league.
Although unlikely to come cheaply, at age 25, Doucouré is entering his prime. Spurs would be wise to offer him a ticket across town.
5. Jamaal Lascelles
Toby Alderweireld may have been restored to the first team this season, but with a £25m release clause in his new contract at the club, the Belgian’s days in north London may be numbered.
Should the club decide to bite the bullet and let their star defender leave this winter, they’ll need a replacement.
Jamaal Lascelles’ composure and stature have made him an integral part of Newcastle‘s back line, but having spent the last three and a half years surrounded by constant drama on Tyneside, the former England youth centre back might be ready for a change of scenery – and has been consistently linked with a move to north London.
4. Joshua King
As relentless as he undoubtedly is, Spurs talisman Harry Kane has struggled to reach his normal heights of late, perhaps showing the effects of playing practically non-stop for club and country last year. Fernando Llorente was signed in 2017 to provide backup, but the ageing Spaniard has struggled to convince as a reliable alternative, often only brought on as a last resort.
Step forward Joshua King. The Norwegian has netted five times in twelve appearances for Bournemouth so far this season, with his pace, trickery and eye for goal making him a dangerously unpredictable opponent. Signed by Eddie Howe from Blackburn on a free transfer in the summer of 2015, the Cherries stand to make a handsome profit when the 26-year-old moves on – and Spurs could do far worse than offer him a home in N17.
3. Adrien Rabiot
With six months remaining on his current deal, reports indicate that Rabiot’s contract talks with PSG have completely broken down – meaning the coveted midfielder could leave on a free transfer next summer. If Les Parisienes want anything for him, they’ll have to sell this January for a cut-price fee – exactly the kind of bargain Daniel Levy specialises in.
Spurs have dealt with PSG recently for the purchases of Serge Aurier and Lucas Moura, and Pochettino still has close ties with the club he once played for. Rabiot has long been linked with a big money move to the Premier League, with Arsenal and Liverpool touted as likely destinations. Now would be the perfect time for Tottenham to steal a march on their rivals and snap up the wantaway star.
2. Ryan Sessegnon
An ‘almost but not quite’ figure for Tottenham, Ryan Sessegnon was reportedly close to joining the club last year in what would have been a major coup for the Lilywhites, only to decide to stick with his boyhood side Fulham after they achieved promotion to the Premier League.
The Cottagers have struggled this season, however, and it remains to be seen whether Claudio Ranieri can work the magic required to lift them out of the relegation zone.
With Ben Davies unconvincing in the final third for Spurs and Danny Rose‘s days at the club surely numbered, Tottenham need a reinforcement at left back – and Pochettino could be just the coach to get the get this young Englishman firing on all cylinders again.
1. Jack Grealish
Spurs’ interest in Grealish was one of the worst kept secrets in football last summer, but chairman Daniel Levy’s brinksmanship with Aston Villa backfired and ultimately resulted in the talented Englishman signing a new contract with the Villans.
With his parent club currently mid-table in the Championship, however, the 23-year-old is sure to want to test himself at the highest level sooner rather than later, and he would fit perfectly in Pochettino’s dynamic young team. As well as being one of the most highly rated players in his league, Grealish would carry the added bonus of boosting Spurs’ ‘homegrown player’ contingent – a problem area Pochettino is keen to rectify.
Although Tottenham would still need to pay a premium to secure the midfielder’s signature (the previous reported fee was £40m), Daniel Levy would do well to swallow some pride and finally give Pochettino the boost he should have last July.