Tuesday 20 March 2018 / 07:15 AM


Tottenham seem to be buying up large during the current window.

On one level, this is a good thing.

After all, their squad was painfully thin last season, giving Mauricio Pochettino absolutely no choice but to play his best players into the ground.

Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Christian Eriksen and Eric Dier were all key players for Spurs last season, and all of them played an unhealthy amount of football.

Kane and Alli, in particular, looked absolutely knackered during the Euros, and Pochettino will be looking to ease their workload over the next year.

Which means one thing: they need some support.

With Spurs in the Champions League this year, they aren’t able to rest players in the same way that they were last season, when the Europa League was the sum of their non-EPL ambitions.

When you’re travelling to far-flung locations like Russia and Azerbaijan, no one really cares if you win, so you can get away with playing a weakened team.

In the Champions League, things are different. Players really want to win. Fans really want to win. Owners really want to win.

This increased pressure will mean that for much of the season (especially if Tottenham progress beyond the group stages), Spurs will have to field their strongest side twice a week.

And this calls for reinforcements. Reinforcements that – in fairness to Pochettino – he’s doing his best to attract.

The trouble is, they’re just a bit underwhelming.

So far, the Spurs boss has brought in Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen at a cost of £11 million and £17 million respectively.

Wanyama has played well in a good Southampton side and is a decent squad player, while Janssen has looked good in Holland but is entirely untested in England. If reports are to be believed Georges-Kevin Nkoudou, a winger from Marseille, is on the way too.

Hands up who’s super excited about these signings?

The fact of the matter is that Spurs now need to be shopping in the premium aisle of the supermarket. If they’re to prove that last year’s failed title challenge wasn’t a complete blip and that they’re up to the task of competing again this year, they need to stop sniffing around the players with potential that no one has ever heard of.

Chelsea have just bought Kante – where was Spurs’ bid for him?

Romelu Lukaku is on the market – why have Tottenham not tried to sign him?

The problem is that Spurs still see themselves as the plucky, perennial underdogs. They don’t see themselves as the kind of club that can bring in the marquee signings. They’re the kind of club that buys a decent player and makes them a great player, which is great for their bank balance, but not so good for their immediate results and sustained, ongoing performance.

Unless things change, this window looks to be a pretty underwhelming one for Pochettino and Tottenham, and whilst not surprising, an end result of Janssen, Wanyama and Nkoudou wouldn’t exactly be the most encouraging start to a Spurs season.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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