For two seasons, Spurs have been so close to clinching the Premier League title. Both times they’ve fallen short in the final weeks of the season, something that left many wondering how could they improve their team to go that one step further and win the league?
It’s not an easy question, because Tottenham have, arguably, the best starting eleven in the Premier League. Not many changes can be made except for on the bench, which was one of the problems that people found with Spurs’ squad. Minimal changes are needed from Mauricio Pochettino, but with one or two players expected to leave, their replacements need to be top quality.
One of the best goalkeepers in the league, Hugo Lloris is the club captain and has built up an incredible relationship with his defence in front of him. He may not be the most physically imposing goalkeeper, but he has the ability to make match-winning saves and has shown that he is a real leader of men.
Lloris is incredibly important to Spurs, and it must be said that without him, they wouldn’t even be near the Premier League title. He signed for what is now a bargain of £12.5M from Lyon a few years ago and that is clearly money well spent. His experience is vital in this side and he will help the young players learn across the season and command his defensive line extremely well.
One of two potential new signings at the club, Ricardo Pereira is the perfect man to replace Kyle Walker if he decides to leave the club for Manchester City this summer. Pereira has just spent the past two years on loan at Ligue 1 side OGC Nice and has been outstanding during his spell at the club, in particular this past year.
He was voted in the Ligue 1 Team of the Season and for good reason, as his displays were one of the main reasons why Nice secured Champions League football for the upcoming campaign. His pace down the right hand side was a huge outlet for Nice and he bares a similar style of play to Walker.
With his release clause only 22M€ (£25M) it would be a bargain if Spurs brought him in. He would fit into the side seamlessly and be more or less the exact same as Kyle Walker in the team.
Hands down the best centre back in the Premier League. Spurs need to keep him if they are to win anything, let alone the league. He is vital to how they play, the defensive solidity that they’ve prided themselves on in recent seasons.
His partnership at the back with Jan Vertonghen is incredible, something Tottenham have been crying out for for about a decade or so. The first thing the club should do, however, is tie him down to a long-term contract. His future is essential to Spurs’ success and in terms of building a strong squad at Spurs, Alderweireld could become the modern day version of Ledley King and grow into a genuine Tottenham Hotspur legend.
Similarly to Alderweireld, Vertonghen is a key player in this Spurs set up. The Belgian has been one of the longest serving players at the club and knows what it means for the fans to win and to maybe bring home a trophy. Arguably, Vertonghen was better than Alderweireld, high praise given the quality of the latter.
In most partnerships, one player makes the other better but in this one the duo make each other better. Vertonghen compliments Alderweireld and vice versa. The key for Spurs’ defensive solidity is these two, and Pochettino knows this. Title winning teams are built on central defensive solidity and Spurs have got this whether in a 4-2-3-1 or a 3-4-2-1.
One of the most versatile members of the team, Dier is vital to Spurs and their versatility, no matter the formation. He may not be the most fashionable player in terms of skill or what have you, but Pochettino loves him and will always find a way to get him into the team.
Despite rumours of a bid from Manchester United, I fully expect Dier to be at Tottenham next season and play on the right hand side of a three man defence or, if needed, in the defensive midfield position. He can even fill in at right back and left back, which is one of the reasons why he is so important to the team.
One of the best left backs in Europe, Danny Rose has been superb flying down the left hand side for Spurs over the past two years and is a huge part of their attacking play. His pace is incredible, at times impossible to stop, and suits perfectly to how Spurs play.
His injury problems at the end of the last seasons meant that Ben Davies had to play the lion share of the games, but that wasn’t a problem. Whenever Rose played, he was superb and got into the PFA Team of the Year which is impressive considering how many games he ended up missing. Rose is essential to this Spurs team and the width they create.
For £12M, Victor Wanyama was one of the best buys in the Premier League last season and his performances were one of the reasons as to why Spurs were so impressive in the middle of the park.
He wasn’t fancy or flashy; he just did he his job and was a destroyer in front of the defence. He complimented Moussa Dembele extremely well and was extremely underrated this past season, adding a lot to the Spurs side without really doing much. His calmness and brains meant that he was rarely caught out and always won his battles in the midfield.
Moussa Dembele/ Ross Barkley:
This one will be a little bit contentious. Moussa Dembele is one of the best on the ball in the Premier League and adds a controlling dimension to the side. However, he’s not getting any younger and his knee problems are occasionally a problem for him. Do Spurs need a replacement? Not an outright replacement, but someone who can fill in for whenever Dembele is injured. That’s where Ross Barkley comes in.
The Everton midfielder has been heavily linked with Spurs this summer amid growing rumours that Ronald Koeman is looking to get him out. Under Pochettino, Barkley could transform into a more creative midfield and be a deeper laying creator instead of a traditional attacking midfielder. This would give Spurs the depth they need and be able to save Dembele for bigger games.
What more can be said about possibly the best young midfield England have had for many years, Dele Alli is outstanding for Spurs and will continue to do so in the lineup. His goals and assists tallies are incredibly impressive and he seems to have found the perfect club and perfect manager to develop with.
For both England and Tottenham he hasn’t shied away from responsibilities and has been very impressive both in internationals and in the Champions League. His floating role behind Harry Kane has turned into less of a midfielder and more of a second striker, just short of a false nine. His stats and fearlessness can be key for Spurs this season.
Possibly the best creative midfielder in the Premier League last season, Eriksen has come on leaps and bounds since joining the club under Andre Villas Boas a few years ago. He’s added goals and end product to his play and his work rate is exceptional, running further than any other player in the Spurs team.
Alongside Dele Alli and Harry Kane, he has become part of the deadliest trio in the league and is always there when Spurs needed him. He was key in so many games down the home straight of the Premier League race last season, popping up with a vital goal against Crystal Palace and laying on the two goals Tottenham scored in the FA Cup Semi Final. Eriksen has developed so much under Pochettino and could go to the next level at Wembley.
Hands down the best goal scorer in the Premier League, Harry Kane is the modern day Alan Shearer for Spurs, someone who has proven he can perform no matter what situation. When strikers have been at a premium this transfer window, Spurs have got gold with Kane, not having to look far for someone who can guarantee minimum 20 goals a season.
His movement and variety of goals means he is a threat from any position and defenders will need to be on top form to contain him. Could he be the man to fire Spurs to the title? Perhaps, but as this list shows they have got one heck of a starting XI, one where defence is key and goals come from anywhere on the pitch.