The close season is barely underway, yet fans of the Premier League are already anticipating the most entertaining season yet.
With the return of ‘the Special One,’ Man City’s persistent spending, Arsene Wenger finally delving into his transfer warchest and more importantly- the first season of the post-Alex Ferguson era, the race for the top four, and the title, looks more exciting than ever.
All of last year’s top four appear to be spending £50+ million following a record windfall of money from the latest television deal, with BT sharing a record deal with Sky Sports.
But will Andre Villas-Boas’ Tottenham match their rival clubs intent and spend big this summer?
Their first bold move will be keeping hot property Gareth Bale, away from the grasp of Real Madrid. Can they persuade him to stay, for another year at least, by showing ambition? Would a bid of around £80million tempt AVB or more importantly, chairman Daniel Levy?
Long-term target Joao Moutinho has joined Monaco, so AVB will have to turn his attentions elsewhere for a creative midfielder, unless he puts his faith into January signing Lewis Holtby. He has been one of Germany’s few dangerous players in Israel’s under-21 European Championships.
AVB’s main priority will be a top quality striker. Another long-term target, Leandro Damiao, may finally join from Brazilian side Internacional.
Mario Gomez has also been a name mentioned in the media after he has fallen down the pecking order at Champions League winners Bayern Munich.
One time Birmingham loanee, also a striker, Christian Benitez is also believed to be a target, after showing good form at Mexican side Club America.
Another objective on the list of jobs for Villas-Boas, the Premier League’s youngest manager, will be to get rid of the deadwood within his ranks, clearing the wage bill for new signings. William Gallas and David Bentley‘s pending departures have already been confirmed by the club, as they will not be offered new contracts once they expire later this month.
Last season, Spurs lacked strength in depth and they found themselves relying on Bale on too many occasions. His injury, along with Aaron Lennon’s absence, saw them struggle for form in the final third of the season.
A strong bench, as well as a quality starting 11, will help them compete throughout the course of the year.
The forthcoming season may be a long and hard one for Spurs, tougher than the last few for Tottenham, with the current top four all seemingly set to strengthen.
David Moyes first year at Old Trafford may be tough, but you wouldn't bet against them finishing outside the top four.
You’d expect Mourinho’s Chelsea to meet his ‘target’ of finishing in the top four and Wenger’s Arsenal manage to pull it out of the bag each year, despite dips in form year after year.
The expected appointment of Manuel Pellegrini at City would also see a big spending City battle for the title, never mind a top four spot. The early signings of Fernandinho and Jesus Navas clearly states their intentions for the new season.
Liverpool also appear to be slowly building strong foundations and a adapting a good playing style under Brendan Rodgers and they could well threat Spurs’ efforts for a place in the top five, never mind the top four.
As much of a cliché as it is, this summer will be AVB’s most challenging, and important, in his short managerial career and Spurs fans will be itching to fill Arsenal’s top four birth. They have a good squad, with few exceptional players and signings will have to be a class above what they already have.
Backing from the board at White Hart Lane in the coming months will never be so crucial.