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Which areas do Tottenham need to strengthen this summer?

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Tottenham Hotspur are looking up again after a solid 2023/24 season during which they secured a return to European football after finishing fifth in the Premier League. 

Nevertheless, there was the feeling of a missed opportunity considering they ended up only two points behind Aston Villa in the final Champions League place. Struggles throughout the second half of the season meant they dropped too many vital points.

Tottenham’s plans for next season have already clicked into gear with some decisions taking place concerning the makeup of their squad. These are important months for the future of the club as they look to add even more quality to the ranks in a bid to challenge for major honours.

Ange Postecoglou’s distinctive approach relies on pace, aggression and tactical proficiency, so the Australian will be looking for players who fit his high-octane style of play. Given the extra Europa League games next term, there will be huge pressure on the squad and Postecoglou is believed to want several signings this summer.

Postecoglou has publicly stressed the need for reinforcements and noted the huge progress they have made in terms of recruitment so far.

“I knew it was never going to get done in two transfer windows, this process of building a squad, even a starting XI, which we’re in the infancy of,” Postecoglou said. 

“I think we’ve done well in the transfer windows so far, which means we’re probably further ahead than I thought we’d be in terms of the squad.”

“Because when I look at Guglielmo Vicario, Micky van de Ven, Destiny Udogie, Pape Sarr, Brennan Johnson, guys in their first year at this club, the first year in the Premier League, all (aged) 20, 21, 22 — apart from Vicario, but he’s still fairly inexperienced for a goalkeeper — we’ve got the formation there. We’re further along.”

Postecoglou then indicated where Spurs need to build in the summer: “We need to start filling the gaps further up — in terms of our starting XI, but also, more importantly, in our squad.”

The acquisition of starters, as well as rotation options, is equally important to reach a suitable balance. First through the door is Timo Werner whose loan from RB Leipzig has been extended for another year as he looked a natural fit on the left of the attack.

Spurs’ need for a specialist centre-forward is one to keep an eye on as they have so far refused to sign a replacement for Harry Kane.

Son Heung-min and Richarlison both scored 17 and 11 league goals respectively but they still need more firepower to compete next season. There is also a decision to be made on Richarlison, their most marketable asset, should interest in him from Saudi Arabia materialize. Regardless, will be in high demand ahead of the next campaign.

Should they go for an out-and-out striker or not, Tottenham are believed to be leading the race for Eberechi Eze with Manchester United also interested. The 25-year-old has been a standout player for Crystal Palace and he is now heading to his first major tournament with England at Euro 2024.

The former QPR man has a release clause of £60million and Spurs are in a healthy position with Profit and Sustainability Rules – in contrast to United’s – so they could make a move for Eze without having to sell any players.

Furthermore, Eze’s agents, CAA Base, also represent Ange Postecoglou and Spurs stars Son Heung-min and James Maddison, and a deal would be very easy to complete considering the company also has a box at Tottenham’s stadium.

Elsewhere, midfield has been a challenge for Tottenham in recent months with the manager chopping and changing between Rodrigo Bentancur, Pape Matar Sarr, James Maddison, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Yves Bissouma without finding some of the energy they had displayed in the first half of the season.

There is a sense that Spurs will look to recruit at least one top-class player in central midfield where they would nevertheless require reinforcements as Giovani Lo Celso and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg appear set to leave with their contracts coming to an end.

Reports indicate that Spurs have identified a move for Andreas Pereira as a potential solution, the Brazil international produced three goals and nine assists last season and could provide a bit more impact in attacking areas. Pereira has two years left on his Fulham contract and after fulfilling a two-year promise to Marco Silva to stay at the West London, he could be set for the Lilywhites.

Meanwhile, the 28-year-old is fully focused on this summer’s Copa America campaign with Brazil and a possible transfer would have to wait until after the tournament. 

The defence may have been Tottenham’s strongest unit last season as Destiny Udogie, Micky van de Ven, Cristian Romero and Pedro Porro formed a first-choice combination. Yet, there is little in the way of cover beyond that despite the signing of Radu Dragusin in January.

The Europa League calendar will require enough options and Spurs could be out for an extra centre-back this summer.

Departures

Tottenham must phase out the necessary personnel to be able to bring the right legs in, and they have made positive moves on that end with the confirmation that Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier, Ivan Perisic and Japhet Tanganga have all been released.

Tanguy Ndombele is also set to see his contract terminated a year early having joined Spurs for a club-record £55million from Lyon in 2019. 

The 27-year-old has only made 91 appearances and hasn’t played for the club since January 2022. That fateful match was an FA Cup third-round fixture against Morecambe and Ndombele was customarily subbed off when Spurs were 1-0 down, the player’s slow exit from the pitch was booed before their team scored three goals in 14 minutes to scrape a victory.

Since then, Ndombele has had loan spells at former side Lyon, Napoli and Galatasaray with little in the way of a tangible impact. Although he won the league title in the last two seasons, he was mainly a substitute.

Tottenham and the player have amicably agreed to put an end to his enormous £200,000-a-week deal and fans will be left with a feeling of frustration at the player given his immense but untapped talent.

Other likely faces to depart the Tottenham Stadium include Emerson Royal (who has had consistent interest from Saudi Arabia) and Bryan Gil who has two years left on his contract. 

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