There is little reason for Tottenham to splurge in the upcoming summer transfer window in order to remain competitive on multiple fronts.
Two news stories this week sent Tottenham supporters into mild panic over the future of the club.
First, there was the news that the club’s new stadium might cost a total of £800 million — double what was initially budgeted.
Then, on Wednesday, came reports from a supporters trust meeting with Daniel Levy. Spurs’ club chairman famously tends to keep the purse strings tight, and suggested that the club will continue to be “realistic” on the transfer market.
A shortfall of funds and no change in attitude from Levy suggest that Tottenham are in for another summer without the infusion of world class talent. Fans can expect more players along the line of Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen.
There is an understandable level of angst from Tottenham supporters as a result. When the Manchester clubs, by comparison, can bring in Paul Pogba, Gabriel Jesus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in one window, and Chelsea can bring in N’Golo Kanté, Spurs looks like it is operating on a much lower level.
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The title looked within reach over the past two seasons, however briefly. That combined with Champions League football leaves fans expecting something more — and soon.
As Levy said though, there’s a hefty amount of reality that needs to be considered here. Financing this stadium is a colossal undertaking that, eventually, will reap plenty of rewards for the club. In the interim, though, Spurs can’t mortgage tomorrow for results today.
If that isn’t a satisfactory answer to impatient fans, then perhaps they should consider this: Tottenham have spent the past three seasons planning for this exact eventuality.
Since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino, Levy has focused his attentions almost exclusively on younger, undervalued players. That fits within the club’s budget, of course, but it also allowed Pochettino to mold a team to his liking.
By any estimation, that project is working fabulously. Not even Pochettino himself could have hoped for better results that what he saw these last two seasons. The Champions League was just out of Spurs’ reach for half a decade before this young, promising squad managed to finish third last season. Perhaps they can’t hope for more this current term, but consistency is almost as valuable as progress at this stage.
Recognizing what they had in this team, Levy and Pochettino made a concerted effort to secure the core of this team to contracts that last through the move to the new stadium and beyond. That is how Levy invests in the club — keeping hold of known quantities rather than gambling on unknowns in the market.
New deals for Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose and all the rest don’t generate the same headlines or endless rumor mill fodder as shiny new players, but if anything they are more valuable to the club.
What’s more: that same core is still very young. If certain fans are worried that Tottenham aren’t breaking through to a higher level, just wait until players like Kane and Dele actually begin to peak. These are the world class players Tottenham needs to compete over the next few seasons.
None of which is to say that there aren’t problems in Spurs’ transfer policy. Pochettino does need to work with Levy to avoid another situation like the one that led to Moussa Sissoko joining last summer. Stay tuned for thoughts on how that can be improved, especially in the wake of Paul Mitchell’s departure.