Tottenham’s failure to secure an out-and-out striker is embarrassing, confusing and predictable, but it’s not unforgiveable.
The need for an alternative to Harry Kane has been evident since his emergence almost a year ago. Roberto Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor were clearly not up to task and Spurs’ failure to recruit in January came with the belief that surely the striker issue would be addressed in the summer.
Well it hasn’t been. The soundbites from Mauricio Pochettino were planted early, citing the versatility of Nacer Chadli, Clinton N’Jie, Heung Min-Son and… Erik Lamela, as reason not to panic.
Spurs have also taken the dubious step of listing Son as a striker on their official site, despite the fact that he played the majority of his games in the same position as Nacer Chadli last season.
Pochettino wanted Saido Berahino and Daniel Levy should have got the deal done, but alas he remains trapped at the Hawthorns for at least another four months.
Despite this failing, the transfer window overall has been a very good one for Tottenham.
Nearly all of the so-called ‘deadwood’ has been shipped out – save for Adebayor – and shrewd signings have been made.
Defence is well and truly sorted, with the arrivals of Toby Alderweireld, Kevin Wimmer and Kieran Trippier bringing about an end to the dark days of Younes Kaboul and Vlad Chiriches.
Son and N’Jie mean a once notoriously pacey side now have legs again, and both wingers carry a sizeable goal threat. Alex Pritchard has entered the fold too, and it remains to be seen what sort of impact he could have.
Should Kane go down for some tragic reason, Spurs do now possess the players to field a fluid front four and hurt the opposition – far more than when Soldado embraced the role as hapless lone striker at least.
A holding midfielder would have been a nice present from Levy but Eric Dier’s emergence seems heaven-sent, as does Dele Alli’s seamless transition from League One star to Premier League starlet.
The squad is leaner but more finely tuned, and substitute appearances will no longer be met with the groans that could be heard whenever Paulinho et al took to the pitch.
Spurs now have real depth as opposed to a large squad and Pochettino will have confidence that whoever is thrown into the deep end will be able to carry out his instructions.
The Lilywhites were impressive against a good Everton side on Saturday and should have comfortably taken all three points but as has been the case all season, the performance was there but the rub of the green proved less forthcoming.
The return from international football should see Christian Eriksen join N’Jie and Son in the Spurs attack and with the transfer window madness behind them, Mauricio Pochettino and his Spurs squad will be in great shape to grab that elusive first win.