Life with Jose Mourinho has gotten off to a fairly decent start for Spurs fans. The Portuguese manager has helped the Lilywhites move from 12th in the Premier League table up to sixth, and has cut the gap between themselves and has brought them back into contention for a top four finish.
While it hasn’t all been plain sailing, with Spurs losing disappointingly away at Manchester United and more recently at home to the Blues, Mourinho certainly looks like the man who’ll guide the North London outfit into the top four once more this season.
However, Mourinho still has plenty to ponder on regarding his squad and there’s no doubt that it could, and has, to be improved for Spurs to take that next step under Jose. The Spurs boss has been coy over any January transfer activity, but if they were to be busy, here’s who they should be looking to bring in.
Nathan Ferguson,Sean Maguire
The need for depth at right back in the short-term is imperative, with a view of moving on from Serge Aurier a little further down the line.
Max Aarons and Nice’s Youcef Atal may be better options, but Norwich’s league position and Atal’s injury means it’s unlikely that either will be available in January.
Therefore, West Brom’s Nathan Ferguson is someone Spurs should be targeting. The 19-year-old has been a regular in the Baggies’ starting XI this season and has enjoyed a fantastic first half of the campaign – contributing to two goals in his 20 appearances.
An aggressive right-back who can do it all, the signing of Ferguson would be a smart long-term investment for the Lilywhites.
Ben White (Centre-Back)
Brighton’s Ben White has seen his stock rise exponentially during his loan spell at Championship high-flyers Leeds, recently being linked with the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea.
A stout, intelligent defender who loves having the ball at his feet, White has all the makings of a world class centre-back, and it certainly looks like they’ll be a flock of Premier League sides hunting his signature in upcoming windows.
He’ll likely cost £25-30m, but White won’t disappoint. Go get him, Levy. A Davinson Sanchez-Ben White partnership in North London for the next decade would be special.
Sander Berge (Defensive Midfielder)
The need for a competent number six is imperative for this Spurs side to partner Tanguy Ndombele. With Ndombele possessing ball-playing abilities that very few, if any, midfielders have in the Premier League, Spurs’ next defensive midfielder just has to be a more natural ball-winner.
That’s why Genk’s Sander Berge is the perfect option. The Norwegian international reads the game expertly and his 6’3 frame means he’s a huge presence in the middle of the park, often using his aggression and physicality to hassle opponents off of the ball.
A safe passer but a great ball carrier, 21-year-old Berge has proved himself on the biggest stage – performing exceptionally well against Liverpool at Anfield in the Champions League this season. For a fee that won’t be much more than £20m, the purchase of Berge is a no-brainer.
Boubakary Soumare (Central Midfielder)
Although Soumare isn’t necessarily an out-and-out number six, the prospect of a Ndombele-Soumare double pivot is very, very exciting.
The 20-year-old has come on leaps and bounds for Lille over the past 12 months, swiftly becoming one of Europe’s hottest midfield prospects.
A fine technician who has all the abilities to become an elite ball-winner, Soumare may be more of an ‘X-factor’ signing than Berge.
Like Ndombele, Soumare is also comfortable receiving deep and playing vertically – and we saw how the absence of this against Chelsea prevented them from sustaining attacks.
Mourinho is also believed to be a fan of the Lille prodigy, the only problem is, will Daniel Levy conjure up the
£50m that he’ll cost?
Gareth Bale (Winger)
Go on Levy, I dare ya. Go and get us our Gareth Bale back.
Who cares about the money – it’s Gareth Bale. Gareth bloody Bale.
Despite being plagued by injury since his move to the Spanish capital and turning 30 in July, the signing of the Welshman would be nothing short of a game-changer for Spurs. There’s no doubt that Bale is still one of the world’s best when fit and Zinedine Zidane will hardly let him go easy.
But, it’s hard to imagine to former Spurs man lasting too much longer at the Bernabeu and what better place to return than the club he grew to love before his departure in 2013. Even if he has to settle for a £5,000-a-week wage, this just has to happen.
Edin Dzeko (Striker)
AS Roma v Wolfsberger AC: Group J – UEFA Europa League
Ok, back to reality.
With Spurs competing in the knockout stages of the Champions League and also gunning for the top four, Harry Kane and his poor old ankles will have to get some rest pretty soon.
And while 17-year-old Troy Parrott is a very promising talent coming through, it’s hard to envisage Mourinho trusting the Irishman down the stretch if Kane needs a rest or – please God not again – gets injured.
So, what better than a seasoned pro who still scores goals for fun and has proven himself in the Premier League? Edin Dzeko – who’s scored seven Serie A goals for Roma this season – would be an astute coup by the Lilywhites, playing a similar role to what Fernando Llorente did for Mauricio Pochettino in the latter stages last season but to a higher level.
You can see it now, Dzeko scoring a goal off his hip/hand at Anfield to send Spurs to back-to-back Champions League finals.