Tottenham Focus - Why Spurs must invest in January
With the January transfer window coming, what might be expected from Tottenham Hotspur’s decision makers, André Villas-Boas and Daniel Levy?
Villas-Boas has already stated that he expects January to be quiet. This may be the coach just keeping things to himself, as has been seen since he took charge - something Spurs fans may not be used to in recent years. The standing argument is that January is never really the time for multiple changes, with not enough scope for the integration of too many new players with no mid-season break. However, a quiet January may suggest that there will only be a little activity, rather than none at all. There are several reasons why Spurs may need to invest in the coming transfer window.
Does the squad need strengthening? Arguably, even with Emmanuel Adebayor currently not going to the Africa Cup of Nations, Spurs’ forward line needs reinforcement. Adebayor has been somewhat peripheral this season with the in-form Jermain Defoe carrying the attacking threat. An injury or loss of form for Defoe may see Spurs struggle up front.
Also, despite the excellent form of Moussa Dembelé, Villas-Boas may still want another creative midfielder. Spurs noticeably missed his influence when the Belgian was injured and a recurring hip injury suggests more games may be missed. In defence, both Kyle Naughton and Jan Vertonghen have had to cover at left-back [the latter impressively], but cover may be need in that position. Of course, recruitment may also depend on who leaves. For example, if Michael Dawson departs, and considering William Gallas may follow in the summer, then a central defender may well be required
Another consideration is the tightness of the league. Spurs lost three games in a row and dropped to eighth, then won three games and rose to fourth. At the moment, there is only seven points between third and 12th. While this gap should widen as the season progresses, it suggests that the race for the top four will be as tight, if not tighter, than ever. The addition of one or two quality signings may make the difference between the Champions or Europa League. Similarly, if rivals invest or recruit to strengthen, Spurs may just be keeping the playing field level by doing the same.
Does Levy need to prove he backs his coach? Not just to his coach, though particularly him, but to fans and media as well. There still appears in some areas of both a discontent about the Portuguese being at the Lane. Levy arguably failed to bring in the one player Villas-Boas really targeted last summer, João Moutinho. By bringing in a couple of players the coach wants, Levy will show his support of, and belief in, his coach.
If Villas-Boas looks to bring a couple of quality signings, Levy should support him. Failure to do so may leave Spurs short in certain positions and playing catch up to rivals. Levy may need to learn lessons from last January when Louis Saha and Ryan Nelsen failed to bring the necessary class to a tiring squad - a contributing factor in Spurs’ failure to capture third. Making quality signings might not guarantee a top four place, but failing to do so may guarantee the opposite.
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