We are still some weeks away from the summer transfer window but as 2016-17 reaches its closing stages, the gossip columns are naturally full of rumours. Tottenham are one club whose season is still very much alive so it could be safely assumed that few, if any, moves are being made to secure reinforcements ahead of the next campaign.
At the very start of April, league leaders Chelsea were ten points clear of Spurs in second place and most pundits believed the title race was merely a formality. However, a shock defeat at home to Crystal Palace, followed by a rather more routine loss away at Manchester United has suddenly narrowed that gap to four.
Despite that turnaround, Antonio Conte’s men are as short as 1/8 to win the league so, to find any value, you could either use the ‘Without Chelsea’ market, or look for a Bet365 free bet offer on the teams around them. Popular opinion, even among most Spurs fans, is that Chelsea will coast to their fifth Premier League title, so what business do Tottenham need to do in the summer to become more competitive?
The answer is that Spurs need to do very little, certainly in terms of purchasing. One glance at the rumour mill provides links to Dries Mertens, Ivan Perisic and Celtic’s Moussa Dembele amongst others but at this early stage, they can probably be dismissed as little more than gossip.
The real business will take place from June onwards but dealings last summer should signal to manager Mauricio Pochettino that no tinkering needs to be done. In the 2016 window, Spurs brought in striker Vincent Janssen from AZ for £17m while laying out a considerable £30m on the talented, yet inconsistent, Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle.
With six games left to go of the current campaign, the pair have made just 37 league appearances between them, the majority of which have been from the subs bench, suggesting that at least one player was surplus to requirements.
Ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, Spurs needed a back up to Harry Kane, who was the only senior striker at the club, and it could be certainly be argued that Janssen has yet to convince in that role. The Dutchman has just two goals in 24 league matches but after scoring his first from open play against Bournemouth, confidence should grow, while his two crucial assists in the win at Swansea show there is more to his game.
Elsewhere, Spurs have quality competition in every area of the pitch from the full backs, right through to attacking midfield. A third striker could be brought in, but it’s likely to be a younger player with promise, so the Dembele link could be a genuine one, assuming the player is willing to switch glory in Glasgow to the subs bench in North London.
As for selling, there must be concern over Erik Lamela due to his long-term hip injury and Tottenham may cash in on their former record buy. Otherwise, we’re just talking about fringe players such as Josh Onomah and possibly Kieran Trippier being the only casualties.
Perhaps the only real surprise among the gossip columns is that no-one is seriously linking the likes of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen with a move abroad. Hopefully, it will remain that way because Tottenham need to do very little business in this summer’s transfer window in order to maintain a very genuine title challenge in 2017/18.