Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is likely to be active in the summer transfer window, with a number of additions needed to help the club move forward from Jose Mourinho’s departure. The search for the club’s next permanent manager is still very much in its early stages, but the eventual new boss will undoubtedly be looking to benefit from a competitive squad at his disposal.
Spurs have shown a variety of weaknesses in recent months after initially making a promising start to their Premier League campaign.
Sunday evening’s performance against Sheffield United was enough to get the job done against the division’s worst side, but it was clear to see where improvements will be needed ahead of next season despite the hosts strolling to a 4-0 victory and earning a clean sheet.
Dele Alli was handed a rare appearance by interim boss Mason, with the former MK Dons man making his first Premier League start since the win over Fulham at the beginning of last month.
The 25-year-old failed to live up to expectations under Mourinho’s guidance, with Sunday’s match representing a golden opportunity to issue a stark reminder of his capabilities, but he struggled to take the occasion by the scruff of the neck.
Alli fired at visiting goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale as half-time approached with a strike under pressure from the edge of the box, but this was as close as he got to exerting a significant influence on the result.
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The attacking midfield position is arguably the most important on the pitch for a club with genuine ambitions of domestic and European silverware, and the fact is that Alli simply does not fit the bill anymore and needs to be replaced ahead of next season.
Whoever the new Spurs boss turns out to be, they should aim to bring in a formidable operator to provide a higher standard of competition for the likes of Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela in the No 10 role.
A top-class creative talisman will be a requirement in order to meet Levy’s objective of implementing a positive, attack-minded style of play.
Meanwhile, a new striker is also likely to be on the agenda, with Harry Kane’s future at Spurs far from certain.
The England skipper is under contract until the summer of 2024, but he is reportedly a target for both Manchester clubs ahead of the upcoming transfer window.
He has firmly established himself as Tottenham’s best player in recent years and showed his qualities once again on Sunday evening, characteristically dropping deep to get on the ball early and create space for his team-mates.
Although Levy will be eager to keep hold of Kane at all costs, it remains to be seen whether he will decide to get rid of the 28-year-old if he kicks up a fuss in the coming months.
It will be hugely difficult to replace his match-winning influence at the top of the pitch, but it is a dilemma that Levy and the new Spurs manager could potentially be facing in a matter of months.
A first-choice centre-back should be another major area of concern this summer despite Tottenham’s clean sheet against Sheffield United on Sunday.
The visitors did test Hugo Lloris on a few occasions, but Mason’s back four stood firm for the most part, successfully mitigating the attacking threat posed by their lowly opponents.
However, a good performance against the Premier League’s basement boys does not excuse a season plagued by defensive errors, especially when the damage to their top-four ambitions has already been done.
A player like Brighton and Hove Albion’s Ben White would improve Tottenham’s options at the back with his excellent awareness, composed distribution and outright defensive ability.
Spurs are not expected to appoint their new boss until at least the end of the season, with a number of managers still in the frame to succeed Mourinho in north London.
However, a busy transfer window will be needed regardless of the successful candidate, in order to stand the best chance of improving on this season’s shortcomings.
Leading a fruitful summer recruitment drive will be Levy’s top priority after appointing the club’s next manager, with future dealings harbouring the potential to make or break his dreams of progress after the conclusion of the Mourinho era.