Is a left back the final piece of the Tottenham puzzle?

Tottenham Hostpur manager Andre Villas-Boas could be set to spend again in January, with a new left back top of his list of targets

Even after a summer of spending, Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is preparing another transfer window raid in January, and left back appears to be the position of focus.

Spurs' busy summer saw them land the signatures of Paulinho, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Roberto Solado, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches, spending over £100m on new talent as they search for Champions League football.

But after Gareth Bale's £85m move to Real Madrid – along with the sales of Tom Huddlestone, Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey and Scott Parker – Spurs' net spend from the summer transfer window was just £2m, setting the club up for another period of recruitment in order to turn AVB's boys into genuine title contenders.

You can certainly argue that the team needs more help in the centre of defence, or another striker should Emmanuel Adebayor be sold, it's actually left back that could be a priority come January.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto fell out of favour under Villas-Boas and was subsequently sent out on loan to QPR for the season, leaving Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton to split time at the position. Spurs have already been linked with a handful of left backs, even though we are still three months away from the January transfer window.

Here is a rundown of those rumoured targets...

Fabio Coentrao

Having been linked with a move to Tottenham for the majority of the summer as a sub-plot to the Gareth Bale fiasco, it was something of a surprise that Coentrao didn't arrive at White Hart Lane before the deadline. A converted winger who displays his attacking attributes on a regular basis, Coentrao was also close to a loan move to Manchester United, but with their interest in Leighton Baines rekindled, Villas-Boas could be free to snatch his compatriot.

Domenico Criscito

Criscito's reputation has been sullied after being caught up in a match-fixing scandal shortly before Italy's Euro 2012 campaign. After Zenit purchased full back Cristian Ansaldi from Rubin Kazan, Criscito appears to be heading for the exit door, and whilst Spurs have registered an interest, it seems the 26 year old prefers a move back to his homeland with Inter or Napoli with the World Cup on the horizon.

Alvaro Pereira

The 27 year old Uruguayan was a staple of Villas-Boas' treble winning Porto side in the 2010-11 season. Since Villas-Boas left Portugal, he has been persistently linked with a reunion with Pereira, including whilst at Chelsea. Now behind Yuto Nagatomo in the Inter Milan pecking order, Pereira's agent has stated his client would be open to a move away from the San Siro. With a fee unlikely to be an issue, a move for Pereira could make sense for Spurs.

Luke Shaw

A recent report from the Haringey Independent stated that Spurs have made Southampton's Luke Shaw their primary target for the January transfer window, though the Saints want £15m for the 18 year old full back. Spurs have seen an influx of foreign talent and Shaw is a great example of young English talent, and a move to Tottenham should see him secure more regular first team football than a move to Manchester United or Chelsea would.

Of the four rumoured targets, who would you sign for Spurs? Comment with your opinion...

images: © Vladimir Maiorov, © hurtingbombz

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