Spurs may struggle to keep squad together
Regardless of who wins the Premier League title this season, Tottenham can look back at the campaign as one in which they have made huge strides towards being genuine contenders for years to come.
For the last couple of decades Spurs have struggled to compete with the big four clubs in the league, while they have not actually won the league since 1961. They have struggled to attract the big name players to White Hart Lane and their bigger stars have left to join teams who are more likely to be challenging for silverware.
However, Tottenham’s young squad this season have been fearless. Not only are they in the hunt to lift the Premier League title, some of their stars will also be crucial for England at Euro 2016 in the summer.
Spurs are a best price of 6/1 with a number of bookmakers at odds checker, with other firms rating their chances at 5/1 and 11/2.
Regardless of where the title does end up at the end of the campaign, a number of major European giants will be making enquiries about the services of some of the talent at the North London club. Here are the men Spurs will have a fight on their hands to keep hold of in the summer.
No team has conceded fewer goals than Tottenham so far this season in the Premier League. Spurs have been rock solid and a key part of that strong back four has been Belgium international Toby Alderweireld.
Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino signed the central defender from Atletico Madrid in the summer for a fee thought to be in the region of £11.5 million. That now looks like money well spent as Alderweirdeld has stood out as one of the defenders of the season in the Premier League.
In the heart of the back four, Alderweireld has held the line together. For the majority of the campaign he has played alongside Belgian compatriot Jan Vertonghen, who he is very familiar with, and when the vice-captain has been out through injury, he has partnered Kevin Wimmer.
With good defenders hard to find in today’s market, it would be no surprise to see some of the big clubs in Europe make a bid for Alderweireld in the off-season. He not only has experience in the Premier League but he also has played in La Liga with Atletico while he also has 52 international caps to his name.
At the age of just 19, Alli has been fearless in his opening campaign in the Premier League. The Englishman has played with flair inside Spurs’ midfield where he has been vital in supporting his side’s front line.
Alli scored one of the goals of the season earlier in the campaign against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. The teenager spun around a defender before hitting the ball on the volley from 25-yards out to help secure a crucial win.
With his best years ahead of him, Alli has already been linked with a move to Barcelona and Real Madrid, two of the many clubs who have had scouts keeping an eye on the England international. Spanish giants Real did business with Spurs when they broke the world record transfer fee for Gareth Bale in 2014. If another mammoth bid was put on the table, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy might be tempted to cash in again on one of his star assets.
Harry Kane has become only the fifth Englishman in history to score 20 Premier League goals in consecutive seasons joining a club which includes Alan Shearer, Andy Cole, Les Ferdinand and Robbie Fowler.
Manchester United were thought to be very keen on signing Kane last summer, however, a deal could not be reached between the two clubs. Given how Kane has added to his value this season, it would be no surprise to see United come back in for the 22-year-old.
Wayne Rooney’s form has not been great over the last couple of years and the Reds have struggled for goals this season, and could see Kane as the perfect fit. A bid close to £50 million may be enough for the clubs to agree terms before the ball would be in Kane’s court with regards to his future.
As far as goalkeepers go, there aren’t many better, if any, than Hugo Lloris in the Premier League. Since joining the North London club in 2012 from Lyon, the Frenchman has been consistently excellent between the sticks.
No ‘keeper has conceded less goals than Lloris this season, so the stats back up the belief that the Spurs man is having a great campaign.
Lloris recently signed a new contract with Tottenham as he believed the club were capable of winning trophies. If they go through another campaign with nothing to show for it though, Lloris may chase silverware elsewhere.
The top clubs in the Premier League all have capable shot stoppers, but it would be no surprise to see Real Madrid or Barcelona come in for Lloris as they may see him as an improvement on what they already have in their squads.
The playing squad at Tottenham might not be the only thing that attracts interest in the summer, as Pochettino has once again done his reputation no harm at all as a good quality manager.
In his first full season at Southampton, he led his side to the club’s joint best-ever finish in the top flight. That led to Spurs signing the Saints man when Tim Sherwood left the club.
Since joining Tottenham, the club looks to have improved with each season. He has put his side in the title hunt this time around and there is a real chance they may at least finish above North London rivals Arsenal.
Chelsea were thought to be interested at one point before they appointed Antonio Conte as the long-term successor to Jose Mourinho, but if Manchester United fail to qualify for the Champions League at the end of the season, they may also be searching for a new manager.
With Pochettino having so much Premier League experience under his belt now despite being a youthful 44, the Red Devils may see him as the perfect man to take over the reins.
At both Southampton and Tottenham, Pochettino’s side have played attractive attacking football and he has not been afraid to give youngsters a chance, as seen this term with Alli, Eric Dier and Kane all flourishing under the Argentine.