By Jamie Brown
June 02, 2023 at 2:23 pm GMT+1
Tottenham Hotspur are set for a decisive summer as they look to turn around the club’s direction following another turbulent season.
The Antonio Conte era proved to be yet another false dawn for the north London club as the Italian’s reign quickly soured.
Spurs are now hoping to appoint a more modern, attack-minded coach who can replicate the culture that Pochettino created in N17.
Currently, Ange Postecoglou looks set to be that man with the Celtic boss leading the way in the race for the Spurs job.Ange Postecoglou, manager of Celtic FC at the start of the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK 2PX1M58 Ange Postecoglou, manager of Celtic FC at the start of the Scottish Cup semi-finals at Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (Alamy Stock Photo)
The next man in the hot seat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be tasked with getting the best out of the club’s world-class stars along with adding some of the missing pieces.
Here’s how that could be achieved and how Spurs could line-up heading into next season…GK: David Raya – Raya is set to leave Brentford this summer with the Spaniard entering the final year of his contract. Meanwhile, Spurs will be in need of a new number one with Hugo Lloris expected to leave the club after 11 years in north London. Raya enjoyed a very successful campaign with the Bees. He made the most saves (154) and kept the 5th most clean sheets (12). In Raya, Tottenham would also get a shot-stopper who is more than capable of using his feet, something which they have sorely missed under Lloris.
RB: Pedro Porro – Porro had a mixed campaign following his arrival in January. Defensively, he showed that he has plenty of room for work, however, going forward, he demonstrated exactly why Spurs shelled out £45 million to get him. The next coach will need to work with the 23-year-old to help him play in a back-four and try to replicate what Trent Alexander-Arnold did during his peak at Liverpool. Six goal involvements in 15 Premier League appearances is not a bad return at all for a young full-back in their first few months in the toughest league in the world. His fine performance against Leeds on the final day, as he scored and assisted Kane, should leave the club’s supporters eager to see more.
CB: Cristian Romero – Romero had a pretty underwhelming 2022/23 campaign considering the impressive glimpses he showed during his debut season in England. The Argentine continued to show a real rashness and at times, his head looked to be elsewhere. But, he was made to play in defence which is in desperate need of a revamp and finding him a new partner will be absolutely key this summer. At 25, there is plenty of room for improvement, but as he has shown, he has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the league and the next manager must help him unlock this.
CB: Piero Hincapié – Hincapié could well be the man to partner Romero. The defender impressed for both club and country this season as he enjoyed a decent World Cup campaign and another strong season with Bayer Leverkusen. The 21-year-old was key in helping Leverkusen’s fortunes turn around under Xabi Alonso as they qualified for Europe and reached the Europa League semi-finals. The left-sided centre-back has shown many promising signs in his early career so far and why he could be a real star in the future.
LB: Destiny Udogie – Udogie returns from his loan spell at Udinese. Signed for £23 million last summer and sent straight back on loan to Northern Italy, the defender has shown why Spurs were so keen to secure his services. He managed 7 goal involvements in the league and performed very well in a poor Udinese side. But, like Porro, the Italian must adapt to play in a back four, having played the majority of his career as a wing-back. The next Spurs boss has two of the most exciting young wing-backs in world football but faces the task of improving them defensively.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur – Spurs could be without Bentancur until towards the end of the year. The midfielder suffered an ACL injury back in February and he is set for a long spell on the sidelines. There are sure to be question marks over whether he can return to being the same player, but up until the injury, the Uruguayan was one of Spurs’ best performers. Tottenham may need to invest in another central midfielder this summer, but a fully fit Bentancur is a very special player.CM: Yves Bissouma – Bissouma endured a very tough debut season in N17. Conte failed to get the best out of him and an injury in the early part of this year ended his season early. At Brighton, the Malian international showed immense talent and Tottenham’s next coach has an elite midfielder on his hands, whose potential he must unlock.
RW: Dejan Kulusevski – Kulusevski is another player who must step up big time next season. The Swede was one of the most exciting players at Spurs heading into the new season, however, he turned out to be massively underwhelming instead. He managed just two goals and seven assists in the league which is less than half the goal contributions he produced in half the amount of games in the season he arrived.
CAM: James Maddison – Tottenham have long been crying out for creativity in midfield and Maddison could be the answer. Spurs tried to land him last summer only for Conte to veto a move. But with the Italian gone and a more attack-minded coach set to arrive, a move for Maddison could finally happen. Alex Scott from Bristol City is another name for this position with the teenager showing very impressive signs in the Championship.
LW: Heung-min Son – Once again the word ‘underwhelming’ can be used as the winner of the 2021/21 Golden Boot Heung-min Son went from scoring 24 goals to just 10. Ten goals may still seem like a solid total, but it was his drop-off in performances which was quite staggering. Another task for the next Spurs boss will be to help Sonny get back on track.
ST: Harry Kane – Big question marks are sure to loom over Harry Kane’s future at Tottenham all summer. But, at this stage, the most likely outcome seems to be the striker staying another year and then leaving the club when his contract expires next summer. Kane enjoyed the joint most prolific season in his career netting 30 times in the league. Losing him in a season where they have no distraction of European football would significantly reduce their hopes of lifting a trophy or getting back into the top four.
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Writer for 101 Great Goals since 2017. Founder of @Daily_Hotspur.