As Tottenham continue to impress with their spending this transfer window, and with Gareth Bale's potential move in doubt, could they be champions come May ?
This season’s Premier League is more open than most.
That's often said, but rarely does it prove to be the case. And yet ask a selection of football fans who will win this year’s title, and there is unlikely to be an outright favourite.
The common consensus appears to be one from three – with Manchester City and Chelsea possessing the most impressive squads, and Manchester United possessing the experience to prove many a doubter wrong regardless of the change in manager.
As the only top four club without a new (or returning) face at the helm, Arsenal have been tipped by some to finally end their trophy woes; while Liverpool are steadily building a squad to challenge, and appear unwavering in their intention to keep one of the few world-class frontmen in the division.
And yet there is another team which cannot be discounted.
That team is Tottenham Hotspur, who only last week I declared would be foolhardy in the extreme to cash in on Gareth Bale…before being told I was clueless in regards to both the club and the situation.
With a week to reflect, I haven’t changed my mind about Bale. I believe he is the one true superstar in England’s top flight, and contrary to the feelings of some, I think he will continue to get better.
But over that week I have seen Arsenal and United continue their transfer market struggles, and Chelsea pin all their hopes on Wayne Rooney, and I have realised Tottenham are second only to Manchester City in their pre-season preparations.
And with Spurs so far holding firm on their valuation of the Welshman, whispers are beginning that the deal may not go through after all, that either due to financial restrictions or footballing doubts, Bale may not be swapping one white shirt for another - at least not just yet.
The feeling among some Tottenham fans is that chairman Daniel Levy is simply playing his usual long-game, in the hope of drawing every last penny from the Spanish club before ultimately accepting their best offer.
But the reality is the Spurs chairman makes decisions in the best interest of the club. His expectations may seem excessive at times, but those expectations are built on a sound knowledge of the game played both on and off the pitch.
Putting a £100m price-tag on Bale’s head may seem pie-in-the-sky to some, but Real Madrid have made a rod for their own back by previously paying £80m for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Having laid down a marker for players of such talent and marketability, they shouldn’t balk at the request of a club with history on their side, in an area where inflation prospers.
With three weeks left in this transfer window, there's still plenty of time for deals to go through, and seemingly never-ending stories to reach their drawn-out but expected conclusions.
And yet should Bale remain, Tottenham may never have a better chance of winning the Premier League title.
Without him they will spend the money and continue to build. But with him that building could be all but complete.
The signing of Etienne Capoue is the latest impressive piece of business, following the arrivals of Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli and Paulinho.
One more striker and Andre Villas-Boas will have the side not just to reach the Champions League, but to go there as champions.
And those are the decisions to be made: to keep Bale and to sign one more decent striker. And with them Spurs could be just a few strokes of luck away from considerable success.
Some will accuse me of hyperbole. But in a year of transition, Tottenham could be in the best shape of the top flight’s elite. They have bought exceptionally well, they have a manager with both promise and talent, and they finally have a goal-getter who can fire them over the line.
Now they must decide which line they are aiming for: the one between fourth and fifth, or the one that could see them crowned champions.
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