Tottenham must avoid Kane, Alli burnout
Tottenham Hotspur’s strong campaign was overshadowed by Leicester City’s Premier League triumph. However, Mauricio Pochettino’s men had an excellent season, bar their hammering at the hands of Newcastle United on the final day which allowed bitter rivals Arsenal to leapfrog them into second.
Most Spurs would have accepted a third-place finish before the start of the term, securing Champions League football for the first time in six years. Pochettino will now be urging his side to kick on next season and surge towards the top-flight crown given the undoubted quality in the squad.
Tottenham are backed at 7/1 in the early Premier League odds to secure the title as of mid-June, which would be the club’s first since 1961. Spurs will be able to retain the services of all their key players, and will look to add quality around Harry Kane and Dele Alli in the final third.
Their lack of a strike to ease the burden on Kane may have cost them the title, especially in games such as their 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane.
Clinton N’Jie was signed for £9m from Lyon, but played only 12 matches in all competitions due to a spate of injuries. Spurs have been linked with a move for AZ Alkmaar forward Vincent Janssen, who scored 27 goals in 34 matches in Eredivisie last term.
The Dutchman displayed predatory instincts in the box, which would help alleviate the pressure on Kane, although players from Eredivisie have not always made a successful transition to the Premier League.
Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi would also be a good complement for Kane, while Fiorentina midfielder Milan Badelj would bolster Pochettino’s options in the middle of the park.
Many of Spurs’ key players racked up the matches last season, with Kane especially bearing the brunt playing 50 games over the course of the campaign. Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Alli were also heavily involved throughout, and are some now involved in Euro 2016, which could see them involved in competitive action until July.
The amount of games played by Tottenham’s squad could lead to burnout, particularly the younger players like Alli, Dier and Kane who have never experienced a full domestic and international campaign before.
Kane may have already displayed signs of fatigue during England’s Euro 2016 opener against Russia as he failed to get up to the pace of the contest. Should the Three Lions advance to the latter stages of the competition, three of Tottenham’s key players will have been in action for 10 months on the spin without a break.
A lack of rest can have a severe effect on performances as Arsenal discovered last season with Alexis Sanchez, who played deep into the 2015 summer in Chile’s triumph at the Copa America. As a result, the 27-year-old struggled early in the domestic campaign with the Gunners, failing to find the net in his opening eight matches.
Tottenham cannot afford to have for Kane and Alli to have similar problems, making fresh reinforcements a must for Pochettino to ensure that his side can maintain their push for the Premier League crown.