The Mastermind brings you an exclusive guide to every single Premier League team going into the highly anticipated 2017-18 season. From lineups, to transfers to the wackiest of predictions, The Mastermind has you covered. Here is your guide to the club who have put up the biggest fight in challenging the eventual title winners in the past two seasons, Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham Hotspur have the been the biggest challengers to the eventual title winners in the previous two Premier League campaigns. However, after a bit of inactivity in the transfer market, the club may be set to stand still or perhaps even move backwards rather than progress forwards. Sure players like Alli, Kane, Son and Eriksen are getting better by the day, but the progress of others may be set to slow down, especially with a couple of key components to the side gone. Kyle Walker has left the club in a heap only to be replaced by a player who was already at the club, while if two or three of the starting 11 were to get injured, it’s almost a completely different side. Tottenham should still be able to cruise in 2017-18 with all the fantastic players that they have in their lineup, but they may not be able to finish quite as high as they have done the previous two seasons.
PREDICTED STARTING XI
With a substantial lack of activity in the summer transfer window, Tottenham’s starting 11 is likely to remain in large part the same as it was last season. Kieran Trippier was already beginning to faze Kyle Walker out of the side at the end of the season when transfer speculation first began and should play a very prominent role this season. Ben Davies will start on the other side as Danny Rose still looks to recover from last season’s knee injury while Eric Dier could move back into midfield as Pochettino returns to a 4-man defense. The hardest part for Pochettino last season was in working Wanyama, Dembele and Dier all into the same team and perhaps this season the Argentinean manager might opt for a three-man midfield. It would still allow Alli and Erisken to play in advanced roles without compromising the team’s defensive stability and on-the-ball quality. The one player who deserves to get more minutes this season that probably will still be just on the periphery of the 11 is Heung-Min Son, who scored 14 goals last season and can operate in a number of different roles.
KEY PLAYER: HARRY KANE
Last season Harry Kane at the age of 23, established himself as one of the best footballers in the world. This season he could go even higher and break all kinds of records for Tottenham Hotspur. The striker’s role in the team is beyond crucial and without him they would have been nowhere near challenging for the title these past two seasons. He scored 29 goals in 30 games last season but it goes so much beyond just scoring goals. He’s a complete forward and everything from his link-up play to chance creation to finishing in front of goal is second to none as far as forwards go in this league. Harry Kane isn’t just Spurs’ key men, he’s one of the Premier League’s key man and should be in for another massive season in 2017-18.
BREAKTHROUGH PLAYER: DAVINSON SANCHEZ
New signing Davinson Sanchez could be set for his breakthrough season after signing over from Ajax last season. He’s already known for being one of the best defenders outside of Europe’s elite clubs and now that he is at one of Europe’s elite clubs could be on the path to greatness and glory. Sanchez appeared in 32 Eredivise matches for Ajax last season, acting as one of their best players despite being only 20 years of age and helping them make it to the Europa League final. This season could be even bigger for the now 21-year old as he looks to establish himself in Spurs’ lineup. We already know how much Pocchettino loves to play with a three-man defense; perhaps this could be the route Sanchez enters the fold and makes a name for himself in the Premier League.
Other than the club’s relative inactivity in the transfer market, the biggest news coming from Spurs this summer has surrounded the transfer saga of Kyle Walker. One could make the argument that Walker was one of Spurs’ very best players over the past five years and although they have gained close to £50 million in selling him to Manchester City, his loss will undoubtedly be incredible. It won’t be long before it becomes noticeable and as good of a player as Kieran Trippier is, he will likely have a hard time filling the boots of the pacey 27-year old.
Despite being highly inactive for months upon months, the club have recently just signed Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez. The highly sought-after defender was also connected to FC Barcelona and joins for a hefty price that is believed to be close to 40 million pounds. A third back-up goalkeeper in Southampton’s Paulo Gazzaniga has also made a rather confusing move to the club. With those two being the only two signings, that is simply not enough to elevate Spurs to the next level.
- Harry Kane will be the league’s leading goal-scorer, beating Romelu Lukaku and Alvaro Morata to the award. Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Dele Alli will all score more than 12 goals.
- Christian Eriksen will be the league’s leading assist provider.
- Despite having one of the sturdiest defensive lineups, no Spurs defender will make the PFA Team of the Year. Alli and Kane will both earn selections however.
- Eric Dier will earn a move away from Tottenham at the end of the season.
- Tottenham will be in the top three for possession and pass accuracy come the end of the season.
- Mauricio Pochettino will not be in danger despite a lower finish in the table.
PREDICTED FINISH: 4TH
After two impressive second and third place finishes in the last two seasons, Tottenham Hotspur might have been one of the favourites to win the 2017-18 Premier League title. But with the quality that other teams in the league have added opposed to the stagnant progress that Spurs have made, Mauricio Pochettino’s side may struggle to cope with the added pressure and intensity. Dele Alli, Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Heung-Min Son are improving by the game while Christian Eriksen has recently developed into one of the most established midfielders in the world. Yet, the lack of new signings and the loss of someone as important as Kyle Walker may mean the Spurs struggle to move forward and instead move backwards. This might be a tough season for Tottenham and the wonderful progress they have made over the years may be put on hold for time being until they can get a few more world class players through the door.