Tottenham Hotspur have improved their squad across the board and look in better shape to challenge on all fronts.
Tottenham Hotspur's failure to sign Saido Berahino from West Bromwich Albion has led to their transfer window, as a whole, being labelled a failure in some quarters.
It’s an accusation which doesn’t hold up under any scrutiny and the improvement of the Spurs squad is undeniable.
The strides forward made by head coach Mauricio Pochettino and the club’s hierarchy are best demonstrated by comparing how the Lilywhites lined up in a Europa League group stage fixture last season and how they potentially will this campaign.
Below is Tottenham's starting line-up for their 1-0 triumph over Partizan Belgrade last November:
Six members of that team no longer call White Hart Lane home and it’s fair to say their replacements qualify as upgrades.
Here is how Spurs could potentially line up in the Europa League this campaign:
Of that team, Federico Fazio is arguably the weakest link and was close to a Spurs exit this summer before his move to West Brom collapsed, as reported by the Guardian.
Even he isn’t a lost cause and has put in several solid displays for the Lilywhites. Cameron Carter-Vickers and Milos Veljkovic also represent further options if Tottenham head coach Pochettino doesn't fancy his compatriot.
Kieran Trippier is an accomplished full-back and will view the Europa League as his chance to challenge Kyle Walker, while Kevin Wimmer and Ben Davies are both promising young defenders.
The front six is really where the upgrades come to the fore, with the slow ponderous midfield duo of Mousa Dembele and Benjamin Stambouli replaced by the energetic and dynamic Nabil Bentaleb and Dele Alli.
Further forward, the insipid and uninspired attacks of Paulinho, Aaron Lennon and Roberto Soldado have been replaced with real pace and goal threat on either wing in the form of Andros Townsend and Alex Pritchard.
Dembele can be utilised further forward, where his dribbling skills can be put to best use, and the dejected figure of Soldado could be replaced by the dangerous, lightening-quick Clinton N’Jie.
The fact that Spurs will be able to field a team of this quality while resting the likes of Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min among others, is testament to the work done in the transfer window this summer.
While a marquee signing never quite arrived, the business done was smart and considered – and Spurs look a lot better for it.