With less than three weeks before the transfer window slams shut, Tottenham has unfinished business to attend to if it has any desire for a top-four spot.
Like it or not, Harry Kane’s departure has left a massive void up front. Richarlison is now Spurs’ go-to No. 9 and will take over the reins. The Brazilian intends to prove he’s worth every penny of the £60 million Spurs splashed out on him last summer.
Even if Richarlison thrives as Ange’s go-to frontman, Spurs need reinforcements, not only in attack but at the back, too.
Without Kane’s 30-plus goals to count on, Tottenham will need to take a goals-by-committee approach. Dejan Kulusevski and Son Heung-min, Spurs’ newly named captain, will be expected to increase their goalscoring production.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Sonny, who is only a season removed from winning the Golden Boot. James Maddison will also be expected to pot a few here and there. The former Leicester midfielder scored 10 goals last season and has a career-high of 12 in the top flight, obtained during the 2021-22 season.
Under Ange’s attacking 4-3-3, a career-high in goals for the Englishman is a realistic goal, while a double-digit return would certainly suffice.
Even with the aforementioned players increasing their usual goal outputs and regularly chipping in offensively, Spurs will look to find reinforcements up front, providing cover for Richarlison. While a brilliant signing, Alejo Véliz is a player for the future and isn’t expected to impact first-team proceedings consistently.
Some believe Tottenham already spent most of the Kane proceeds on Maddison and Micky van de Ven. While that may be the case, Tottenham won’t be able to compete with its rivals if it doesn’t procure at least two additional acquisitions.
Here are the six players on Tottenham’s window-shopping wish list. The list doesn’t include Ivan Toney, who is linked with a January move to Spurs after he finishes his current suspension.
Gent’s Gift Orban
Gent’s Gift Orban is Tottenham’s most desired forward target. The 21-year-old has talent to spare. He’s strong, athletic, quick, and ruthless in front of goal. It will cost Tottenham at least €30 million to secure Orban’s signature, a drop in the ocean considering his untapped potential.
He’s off to a scorching start, scoring five goals in three matches, including a hat trick in the Europa Conference qualifier against Pogon Szczecin.
It would invariably take him time to adapt to the Premier League, but Orban has the physicality and tenacity to thrive in England. He’s also a player who would benefit greatly from playing under Ange’s tutelage, one of the primary reasons Spurs have him in their crosshairs.
Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic
This is one of those speculative, sensationalist rumours that has almost no chance of coming to fruition. Vlahovic would cost Tottenham bundles. Also, there is no indication that the Serbian striker desires a move to Spurs.
Plus, the source of the rumours is Gazzetta Italia, not the most reliable outlet. It still hasn’t hit a mainstream English publication, nor do I expect it to.
Aspirational doesn’t even start to cover it. Let’s move on.
Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson
The 22-year-old right-winger is a hot commodity, and Spurs want him. Their interest in him precedes the Kane sale, though Tottenham have been planning that eventuality for some time. Johnson will cost about £50 million, a pretty hefty fee for a 22-year-old with 47 goals in 159 appearances.
He would be seen, at least initially, as Dejan Kulusevski’s understudy.
Although Johnson has the capability of competing with Kulu for that role.
While this prospective transfer isn’t as far along as the Orban negotiations, Forest would almost assuredly take the money if the price is right. It’s a massive chunk of cash they can use to reinvest.
Other Premier League teams, including Brentford, are interested, but Spurs are seen as the frontrunners.
Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Oluchi Eze
This is a rumour we can get behind. The source is Football London’s Alasdair Gold, so as reliable as they come. However, and this is significant, Palace already lost last season’s second-top goalscorer Wilfried Zaha to Galatasaray on a free transfer earlier in the window.
It’s inconceivable to think Palace will sell its top goalscorer with the season already underway (wait a minute, that’s exactly what Tottenham did), especially considering how anemic its offence is with Eze in the team.
Eze is a powerful presence in the attacking third and is fit as a fiddle. He’d be brilliant in Ange’s system, relentlessly pressing without the ball and driving at the opposition in possession. He scored 10 Premier League goals and added four helpers last season.
The 25-year-old would be costly. It would cost at least €50 million to pry him away from Palace, who can ill afford to lose their most formidable goalscoring threat.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba
Yes, we’re back to that old chestnut.
Edmond Tapsoba. I’ve written about him ad nauseam. Most supporters know everything there is to know about the 24-year-old centre-back.
He will cost at least £50 million and is “not for sale” as far as the German club is concerned. I don’t expect Tottenham to pursue him any further, but I hope I’m wrong in that assertion.
Torino’s Perr Schuurs
Another centre-back on the wish list, Torino’s Perr Schuurs, would cost about £28 million, per the Times’ Gary Jacob. Schuurs represents a more realistic target for Spurs. However, the club probably won’t submit an official bid until it offloads Davinson Sanchez, Japhet Tanganga, or Sergio Reguilon.
If Spurs miraculously sell all three, their combined proceeds might equal Torino’s asking price for its 23-year-old centre-back.
While Schuurs is yet to make his senior debut with the Dutch national team, he would be an excellent addition, complementing his compatriot van de Ven perfectly. He’s a year older than van de Ven and was a staple in Torino’s rearguard last season, making 30 appearances, most of which as a starter.