Why Tottenham Hotspur must spend

Tottenham Hotspur have the bare bones of a starting eleven that can compete with the elite of English football.

Jan Vertonghen is an impeccably consistent centre-back, Victor Wanyama has the presence to boss midfields, Christian Eriksen is a creative genius while Harry Kane is one of the best top flight goalscorers of all-time. And yet, there is also a certain vulnerability about Spurs that stems from a lack of depth.

The absence of Toby Alderweireld has left them short on top quality centre-backs. That has been problematic given that they have started with a three-man defence in 10 of their Premier League games and all bar one of their Champions League Group Stage matches.

Wanyama has been a welcome return, starting for the first time since August in the 3-0 FA Cup victory over AFC Wimbledon. As well as being composed in tight areas, he also provides the bravery and physicality in midfield that wasn’t quite there when other players have taken up his role.

Finding high-quality cover for Kane has also been an issue. Ideally it would be helpful to have somebody to come in for the 24-year-old without the team experiencing a major drop in quality. However, the former Leyton Orient loanee’s fitness and goalscoring record dictates that he is very unlikely to become second choice at any point and thus attracting reserve forwards has been as challenging as keeping them happy.

Strikers, by their very nature, are at their best when they feel loved and appreciated – with that in mind, it is not hard to see why Vincent Jansson and Fernando Llorente have struggled over the last two years.

The other issue is, when Eriksen is not at his best, the lack of alternative creativity. This might stem partially from Dele Alli’s poor form, but it is also down to a lack of width provided by the full-backs. Kyle Walker and Danny Rose were essential to the last two brushes with the title, but the former left for Manchester City last summer while the latter has been out injured.

Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies are not bad full-backs, but the absence of a classic winger in front of them means they have been asked to push towards the byline, something they may not be wholly comfortable doing. There is an apparent absence of a Plan B in this side, evidenced by the fact that they have taken just one point from the five Premier League games that have seen them trail at the break.

The club needs to fix these issues to ensure they give a good account of themselves in the Champions League, compete for FA Cup honours whilst attaining a top four berth.

Daniel Levy appears reluctant to invest during this time of transition towards a new stadium and there have been signs, for the first time, that Mauricio Pochettino is growing frustrated. The Argentine has done sterling work with Spurs – he deserves the financial backing he requires to take them to the next level.

By Jim Allen of spursforlife.com