So they finally decided to do it! After a season long self imposed transfer embargo, Tottenham have finally decided to splash the cash in an attempt to not only consolidate on what most teams would consider an impressive season, but also to improve a very tight-knit squad.
Spurs already had a quality starting eleven at their disposal, a team that almost wrote their own team sheets, it was the standard.
A solid group of players that would arguably walk into most teams throughout Europe in their respective positions. But that was pretty much it. Granted Spurs had some periphery players in; Aurier, Davies, Sanchez, Foyth (towards the end of the season), and Lucas Moura.
Other than the latter there was never a player that you could see warming the bench that would strike fear into the opposition. There wasn’t that game changer, there wasn’t any depth. But if their business already in this window, and rumoured activity still to come is anything to go by, that statement could be about to change.
The signing of Tanguy Ndombele for the monumental fee of £64m from Lyon has shown a distinct signal of intent from Tottenham. Something that has been missing for a while, a marquee signing.
Not just a marquee signing, but a signing of a type of player that they have deeply missed since the sale of Dembele. In the Champions League earlier this season Ndombele shown the world what Ligue 1 was already fully aware of what he was capable of.
During both games against City, Ndombele shown that he could tackle, intercept, have the strength to hold off the opposition, dribble, put key passes through to his teammates, and above all show his calmness under pressure. Something that Tottenham have lacked, is having one player that can do all of the above.
It took only his first few touches in the recent pre-season friendly against Juventus for Ndombele to give us a glimpse of what to expect for the coming season.
In one motion, Ndombele read the oppositions pass and intercepted, brought it under control with ease, took a few touches forward, looked up to see Lucas Moura running off the shoulder of his marker, and then had the calmness and skill to deftly lay a pass to Moura that made it very easy to finish of the move. This undoubtedly had Tottenham fans drooling at the prospect of seeing more.
Whilst it would appear that most Tottenham supporters are happy with their business. There are rumours that just won’t go away. Rumours about more players incoming.
If the British media are anything to go by, then we’re pretty much guaranteed it’s probably just speculation. But dig a little bit deeper into the Spanish papers, and more poignantly the Argentinian papers and there is one man who’s name keeps getting placed at Tottenham over and over again.
Some media outlets in South America have already gone as far as saying that the medical and fee etc. have already been agreed with Betis and Tottenham. They are just waiting on his replacement.
The man in question, is Giovani Lo Celso.
Nabil Fekir, today has become the surprise signing for Real Betis, at just £20m. After being linked with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal in previous seasons.
This shock transfer news, has all of a sudden put a player in the Betis squad capable of replacing Lo Celso. With all possibilities pointing to a move to Tottenham Hotspur in this transfer window.
For Spurs fans, for this transfer to happen might seem a bridge too far. To others a pipe dream. But to the optimist, this could coupled with Ndombele’s transfer could really push Tottenham into the upper echelon of Elite European Football teams.
Recently, Lo Celso has broken into the first team of the Argentinian National side on the back of some standout performances in La Liga. His performance on the final game of the Season against Real Madrid was one highlight.
Looking at the above heat map it’s clear to see that Lo Celso moves around the football pitch a lot during a game. That is one thing that Pochettino demands from his players, movement and closing down.
During the match against Real Madrid, and thanks to whoscored.com we can see Lo Celso had 7.8% of possession on his own. He made 78 passes (48 if which in the oppositions half) with an 80% success rate, made 2 key passes, attempted 2 tackles and won them both, regained possession on 3 more occasions and was ultimately the focal point for his club during their 2-0 win.
This kind of all action performance befits a player of the mould that Tottenham are missing. Numerous times last season, Spurs have struggled to break teams down that are willing to sit back and absorb pressure. The Burnley and Bournemouth games spring to mind in particular.
But with Ndombele already through the door, and the strong possibility that Lo Celso may follow suit, coupled with an Eriksen stay. They would have three players that are more than capable of breaking down the toughest of defences, and ultimately push them every closer to the elusive Title picture.