The impending news of Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid is the worst kept secret of the past month. Although numerous reports have been denied by Daniel Levy, Florentino Perez and the player himself, it would be remarkable if he actually ended up playing for Tottenham this season after all the speculation. If, then, the news that we are all expecting to hear is finally announced to the world and made official, what would be the best way for Spurs to reinvest the money and which positions require the most attention?
An obvious place to start would be to replace the Welshman and the key roles he performed last season – goals. Roberto Soldado has already been purchased as an out-and-out striker and I think that he will do a very good job in his debut season in the Premier League. The Spaniard has already opened his Premier League account with a penalty against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
As we look at the midfield, and Paulinho and Etienne Capoue would appear to be the preferred first choice midfield partnership, as both players have been signed during the transfer window with serious price tags. Considering that Scott Parker has been allowed to leave to join Fulham, and was a regular central midfielder last year, then it will be between Mousa Dembele, Sandro and Gylfi Sigurdsson to take control of the third slot, although Lewis Holtby will be expected to step up his performances this season.
So who could come in to replace the Wales international? The player being linked is Brazilian international Willian. The 25-year-old has only recently joined Russian club Anzhi at the start of the year, although their decision to transfer list the entire squad has made him available to offers. Untested in top European leagues, but certainly talented, would it be too much pressure to expect him to achieve anything close to the goals and assists we saw from Bale?
My preference would be for them to sign another striker, maybe for around £25m, and a top quality central defender to partner Jan Vertonghen. Michael Dawson would be a good backup to have in case of injuries, but I don’t consider the former Forest defender to have the necessary quality to cope with the finest strikers in the league or in Europe. It may be necessary to spend up to £25m on a defender, but if Spurs and Andre Villas Boas are serious about challenging for a top four spot then they will need to have strength throughout the core of the team.
This, of course, is all dependant on a potential £80m or £90m bid for Bale going through, but Tottenham need to have their targets in their sights if they are not to miss out. They cannot sell their star player and fail to replace him with several additions, it’s as simple as that. Although no individual can replicate the Welsh wonder’s ability, they could actually end up with a stronger team if they decide to cash in.