Arsenal and Chelsea’s late rally saw Tottenham Hotspur consigned to a Europa League spot again next season despite a fine debut season for Andre Villas-Boas. What does the Portuguese manage need to focus on this summer?
Which is the biggest priority for Spurs?
It would not be going too far to suggest that the success of Spurs’ summer will depend on whether they agree a new contract with Gareth Bale and secure the talismanic Welshman for another season at least. His last day winner against Sunderland again demonstrated what a unique talent he has become over the last 12 months, and Spurs must hold onto Bale if they want to challenge for the top four again, and convince their transfer targets that they are a club with ambition.
A New Striker
Like their London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, Spurs will be desperately seeking a top class forward to lead their line next year, after Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor both underperformed this season. David Villa, Leandro Damiao and Christian Benteke are all names likely to appear regularly in the press, but whoever they end up signing, they must do it quickly to ensure their attack has a chance to gel before the start of next season.
Promote some Youngsters
Despite losing in the u21 Premier League final, it has been an excellent year for Spurs youth sides, and there are several players who should be considered for the senior squad next year. Tom Carroll, Alex Pritchard and Andros Townsend should be given a chance in pre-season games, and assured of an opportunity in the first team if they impress.
Villas-Boas does not seem to rate Benoit Assou-Ekotto, and Kyle Naughton has not shown enough quality to be considered as a first team starter at left back in his appearances. Danny Rose is returning from a fine season on loan at Sunderland, but doubts remain about his suitability for the Spurs team, and Villas-Boas needs to assess his options quickly to decide if a new player needs to be signed this summer.
Even with Bale stealing the limelight at Spurs, Jan Vertonghen’s excellent debut season has not gone unnoticed. It is unlikely that there will be serious bids for Vertonghen so soon into his Spurs’ career, but signing the Belgian up to a new, longer deal might not be a bad option, to ensure there is always a few years left on his contract if big European sides take an interest.
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