Tottenham director talks up CL qualification chances, more signings

Spurs fans may be pessimistic over the chances of keeping Gareth Bale on the books but the club's top brass forecast a healthy finish to the season.

Tottenham Hotspur's recruitment policy has thus far proven solid. While the printed press and online media churn out daily doses of a Gareth Bale prescription that few fans ordered, the club have guaranteed the services of two of the most exciting additions to the Premier League in Roberto Soldado from Valencia for £26m and former Corinthians star Paulinho in a £17m acquisition.

Last season, the primary criticism of Spurs was that they were increasingly becoming a one-man team - an accusation that infuriated manager Andre Villas-Boas. The foundations for the argument, though, were fortified by end-of-season statistics… strikers Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe returned a respective eight and 15 goals for a combined tally of 23, three shy of Bale's total haul.

Villas-Boas' tactics in the summer window, Tottenham director Sir Keith Mills has claimed, are to build a more balanced squad. While Soldado, who bulged nets 30 times in 46 appearances in all competitions in Spain last season, is a strong purchase (his tally last season was his highest to date, he is 28 and bang in the middle of his form, peak years as an athlete), Mills - speaking to the Standard - implied that the former Real Madrid academy graduate can expect company in the coming weeks.

'This summer, we are investing in a great squad and we hope that provides us with Champions League football next year and we start to win trophies, FA Cups. That’s what Tottenham need,' said Mills.

Borja Valero, Pablo Osvaldo and Alvaro Vadillo all continue to be associated with transfers to the Lilywhite half of North London but Mills suggests that, despite the Soldado addition, further firepower will be prioritised.

'We have made some good acquisitions. Strikers are very high on AVB’s list of priorities and Daniel [Levy, the chairman] is trying hard to make sure we have strength up front. It’s a really exciting time to be at the club.'

With the future of superstar Welshman Bale remaining uncertain, Spurs have few backers to claim a sought-after top four Premier League finish that ensures a passage to the Champions League the following season. Mills, though, believes the managerial upheaval at the clubs ahead of them last year will play into Tottenham's favour.

'It will take the three new managers at Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea - Jose Mourinho’s gone back so he counts as new - a bit of time to settle down. They’ve mostly inherited their squads, the previous managers did things slightly differently and that may just be unsettling enough. We all know that in sport things unwind pretty quickly.

'Tottenham are in a very good place. We’re optimistic this is going to be a good season and I fancy our chances to get one of the four Champions League slots. We’ve got a great manager now.'

Spurs have thus far spent £50m in the summer market, but have recouped £15m through player sales.

image: © Shiraz Chakera

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