Tottenham Sign All the Paperwork


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Two big news stories dominate the Tottenham headlines this Friday, though perhaps not exactly as massive as Spurs fans would want. With only ten days left in the summer transfer window, Daniel Levy has yet to sign a proper backup striker or a proper starting holding midfielder. All this noise about Tottenham getting all their business done early in the summer did seem like it was a little optimistic, didn’t it? In the end, Daniel Levy is still a man who loves a good deadline day deal.

In any case, there’s some reason to be satisfied going into the weekend. On Thursday it was announced that Clinton N’jie has had his work permit to play in the United Kingdom approved. Like most work permits in soccer, this was more or less a foregone conclusion. It does mean though that N’jie will likely be included in the matchday squad for Tottenham’s trip to Leicester on Saturday though.

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It’s unlikely that the N’jie earns an out-and-out start Saturday. Despite the disappointing start to the season, it’s difficult to make a case for N’jie to immediately start in front of any player currently in a position that the Cameroonian can play. Nacer Chadli’s goal last week earns him at least another week in the starting XI, Harry Kane is still Harry Kane, and Mousa Dembélé is currently finding his niche in the nether regions between midfield and attack on the right.

If he is included in the matchday squad, it will likely be from the bench. His presence there might prove surprisingly effective though. In their opening two games Tottenham have lacked a proper impact sub option from the bench that can improve the team’s late game form. Before you ask: the only thing Érik Lamela is improving is the opposition’s chances at recovering the ball.

Hopefully Pochettino won’t be tempted to sub Kane off again Saturday. Even at his worst, the hometown striker is still capable of the odd bit of magic. He deserves 90 minutes every week. If N’jie does come on, it will likely be for Chadli or, if Tottenham find themselves behind and can thus justify a more direct game, Dembélé.

Though less meaningful for Saturday’s game, Tottenham also announced Friday that promising academy graduate Alex Pritchard has signed a five year contract with the club. This is massive news in a lot of ways. It means that the club has given some assurances to the player that he’ll feature in the first team this season. Given his sterling play for Brentford in the Championship last season, Spurs fans should be very excited to see Pritchard in action over the coming months. He might not earn a regular Premier League place anytime soon, but he will inevitably play a huge role in Tottenham’s Europa League group games this autumn.

RELATED: Tottenham Future Watch: Alex Pritchard

The new contract also telegraphs another tantalizing bit: securing Pritchard’s services long term could mean that Christian Eriksen might not feature as prominently in Tottenham’s future plans as was once thought. The two players aren’t exactly mutually exclusive, but they do play similar enough games to suggest that they’re unlikely to feature together on the same pitch. Juventus’ supposed recent interest in the Danish playmaker might have sparked Tottenham’s interest in selling the player high, especially considering the wealth of options the club has in Eriksen’s position.

These news stories are each hints at the club’s ambition for the crucial years leading to Tottenham’s move into their new stadium. So while they might have less impact on the present than they do on the future, they’re no less interesting than Tottenham’s rumored link to yet another striker.

Next: Match Preview: Leicester City v Tottenham