Where do Spurs go from here? | New Manager, New Players

Craig Humpage 2 weeks ago

As a disappointing Premier League season comes to an end, where are Tottenham Hotspur and what do they need to do?

Tottenham concluded the 2020/21 season with a 4-2 victory over Leicester City, one which earned them European football for next season. Ryan Mason said in his post-match interview that the club must "respect any European competition" that they are involved in, but it's no secret that the Europa Conference League for many represents more of a curse than a blessing. Finishing in 7th after that victory meant the North London club finished outside the top six for the first time in 12 years and with their star man Harry Kane almost certain to leave this summer, alarm bells are ringing. What does the future hold for Tottenham Hotspur and how can they get back to where they were?

Nuno? Erik Ten Hag? Potter? - Who will be the next Spurs manager?

There are countless names linked with the Spurs job. Some can't seem to shake the connection even when they make it abundantly clear they have no desire to be there. Brendan Rodgers is somehow still up there on the list even after saying openly in several interviews he isn't going. Other names are so far fetched they beggar belief. This is not an anti-Spurs hit piece, but to think that Antonio Conte or Massimiliano Allegri want to manage Spurs right now is simply delusional. Tottenham are a club perfect for an up-and-coming coach who has done some good work elsewhere and wants to take the next step, like Pochettino was. That's why they'd do well to get Rodgers but he rightly doesn't see the logic in stepping down from Leicester who right now are a more cohesive club with a better squad.

There are still several names on the list which are realistic. Graham Potter is a young, vibrant coach with new ideas and if he's ambitious, he would take the Spurs job. Moving from Brighton to Tottenham would be a logical forward step and there is reason to believe he could do a good job there if the club get the much needed summer overhaul right. He will want some young, open minded players with small egos and huge desire. That dressing room represents the exact opposite of that. Potter working with the current squad could be a disaster but with the right support, he could do a job.

Erik Ten Hag has been at the top of the list since Jose Mourinho was sacked. The Dutchman has done a wonderful job at Ajax and his style does feel like a perfect fit for a club which wants to be forward thinking. By all accounts representatives of the club met with Ten Hag earlier in the season but apparently those meetings were not fruitful and he committed to a contract extension at Ajax shortly after. The move looks very unlikely to materialise now for many reasons, not least of which being the prospect of trips to Belarus and Luxembourg every Thursday.

The new favourite is now former Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo. The Portuguese presided over his final game at the weekend against Manchester United after news of his departure was released several days beforehand. He's undoubtedly done a remarkable job transforming the Black Country club from a Championship side into Europa League quarter finalists. Things didn't quite go to plan this season after more of his players were poached  in the summer and he lost Raul Jimenez to a season-ending injury. Even still they never looked in danger of going down.

For Nuno, this move could make sense. It would be a step up for him to go to Spurs and try to prove himself at a bigger club. Like Potter, he would need the support of the board in the transfer market, but with the right deals being done, he could at least push to get them back into the Europa League equation. Some Spurs fan may scoff at that and ask why they shouldn't be challenging for the title. I would point them in the direction of their North London rivals as an example of the type of slippery slope they could be on. They aren't going to challenge for the title for a long time and what they need to do is arrest the slide and move in the right direction. Nuno could be the man to do that.

An extremely important transfer window

Whoever replaces Ryan Mason and becomes permanent manager of Spurs will have a real job on their hands and this summer transfer window is going to be crucial for their development. They need the right coach for this moment but they also need the right players. Star striker Harry Kane surely won't be there at the start of next season and the hefty fee they will get for him needs to be reinvested wisely in key areas on the pitch. They also need to get rid of some dead weight. Who could we expect to see coming in and who will be shown the door?

If you look at the gossip columns and the Spurs fan pages, almost every member of the squad could be a candidate to leave. There are very few players there they must keep. Losing Kane would of course be problematic but assuming he goes and they get big money for him, where can they improve? Names like Sanchez, Dier, Foyth, Winks, and N'Dombele are often among those linked with moves away. Providing they can get big money from Kane and clear out some of these faces, who could be realistic signings to take them to the next level?

First of all, they might want to think about bringing Cameron Carter-Vickers and Ryan Sessegnon back from loan and actually playing them. If they lose Kane and Bale, Son and Lamela need to stay. Vinicius and Lo Celso definitely have talent and with the right players around them, they can do something. In terms of signings, they will need one or two big name buys. The obvious contenders are Jack Grealish and Jesse Lingard. They could probably get the latter for free in a deal with United for Kane. It's hard to say if Grealish would leave Villa for Spurs but he must be a target. Then Buendia, Aarons and other Championship starlets have been suggested and under the right coach, they could work.

It's going to be a huge summer for Tottenham. What they do over the coming months will determine how next season will go for them. There are so many questions surrounding Kane, the new coach, outgoings and incomings. Nobody knows for sure how it will all pan out. One thing is for sure, they can't afford to take any more backwards steps.

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