Each summer, the transfer spending seems to get more and more ridiculous.
This summer is no different.
50 odd million for Kyle Walker.
Nearly 50 million for a French striker unproven in the Premier League (Lacazette).
40 million for Bakayoko.
Chelsea signing Tiemoué Bakayoko: “I’m very happy to be here. Chelsea is a great club with a great history, and the champions of England.” pic.twitter.com/VEDZ8Dnc5T
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) 16 July 2017
The list goes on.
As the game grows, and its reach with it, these sorts of transfer fees aren’t a surprise – more money and more ambition result in more lucrative and more ambitious clubs, who want the best players.
But in the Premier League, there’s one title challenger not ‘splashing the cash’.
Arsenal have spent big money on a striker.
Chelsea have spent around £70 million already.
Liverpool have bought a winger for £35 million, with more players surely on the way.
Man City have already spent over £100 million, with their neighbours also spending over nine figures on Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof.
Even Everton are pushing the 100 bracket, with a series of smart acquisitions preceding the Lukaku move.
But what about Spurs? The side that pushed Chelsea nearly all the way last year?
Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.
Spurs this transfer window pic.twitter.com/GR8ly2wbJy
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) 12 July 2017
Mauricio Pochettino has spent the square root of absolute nothing so far this summer, and with the start of the season only about four weeks away, time is running away fast.
Why haven’t they bought anyone?
The answer is two-fold.
First things first: their starting XI was probably the best in the Premier League last season, and with only Kyle Walker departing so far, it seems unlikely that their team will be wildly dissimilar to last year’s.
The problem here is that any prospective players see a starting berth at Tottenham as highly unlikely.
Look at any position at Spurs, and you’ll struggle to see where it could be improved, unless some serious money is thrown at it.
Which brings us onto the next issue: money.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is a very savvy operator, and has instilled a very precise wage structure at Tottenham.
Problem is, it means that he pays nothing like the wages that the other top five clubs pay.
Spurs’ highest earner, Harry Kane, is thought to be on around £100,000 a week; and when you consider that Lukaku has just signed a deal at Old Trafford for around £250,000 a week, you can see the massive disparity between what Tottenham are playing in comparison to the other clubs vying for the Champions League positions.
When you put these two problems together, it becomes clear that Spurs have got a massive problem.
— Transfer Daily (@TransferDaily) 14 July 2017
The only way they can get players of the calibre they need to join the club knowing that they’ll have to displace one of the players from last year to get a regular game is if they pay them handsomely; something they are unwilling to do.
Which means something simple: Pochettino must look for undiscovered bargains who are prepared to come to Spurs and ply their trade without getting parachuted into the first team.
Which is a lot harder than it sounds.