After receiving huge praises last season for unearthing gems like Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier and bringing in the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Heung-Min Son, Mauricio Pochettino has had some disastrous outcomes in his summer shopping this season. Tottenham Hotspur brought in two mega signings in forward Vincent Janssen and winger Moussa Sissoko.
Dutch forward Janssen joined from AZ Alkmaar for £18.5m and Spurs got a last-minute bid of a staggering £30m accepted for French star, Moussa Sissoko. And it took just the opening three weeks of the season to realise that both have been huge failures; they were soon dropped to the bench. To Pochettino’s good fortune, Harry Kane stabilised the mast let down by Janssen and Son was surprisingly brilliant on the wings.
Janssen and Sissoko have been involved in one goal and four assists so far in around 20 appearances. It is quite clear that the manager didn’t really have an eye for transfer targets in the past summer and critics are bound to question his next targets in the next transfer window. Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha has been one of the prime targets for Tottenham of late as the club continues their search for good wingers.
There is no doubt that Kane’s productivity will increase manifold if Pochettino manages to get a quality winger and getting Zaha looks very difficult as Sam Allardyce has already made giant strides in securing his future at the London club. This could, in fact, turn out to be another Sissoko situation with Spurs spending millions to land him.
Getting established English players is understandably the first preference for any Premier League club, but a good look outside could well get them a better option. And in this case, it could be Serie A sensation, Dries Mertens. Although 29, the Belgian has still a lot of left in his legs. A late bloomer, Mertens has scored 25 goals and seven assists for Napoli this season, standing as the second highest goal-scorer in the Serie A after Edin Dzeko.
His performances even led him to overtake Chelsea star Eden Hazard for the Belgian Player of the Year vote back in December. Mertens was Napoli’s star player in the Champions League campaign as he netted five goals and four assists in eight appearances.
Although he doesn’t have the huge frame like Sissoko, he looks perfect to play alongside Eriksen and Alli in Spurs’ attacking midfield and might just be the player they need to fulfil their European dreams.
However, Tottenham Hotspur needs to stop being fussy regarding not going for relatively older players and understand a good deal when one comes along.
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