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Tottenham Set Up to Become Perennial Challengers

Thu 9th Feb 2017 | Money & Finance

Tottenham have become a constant presence in the Premier League title race in their bid to win their first top-flight crown since the 1960s.

Under the ownership of Daniel Levy and the management of Mauricio Pochettino, Spurs have competed for the title spending within their means due to their efficient business in the transfer market, with the club backed in the latest football betting odds at 12/1 to win the crown this season.

This season marked the first time in five years the team have spent more than they have received in transfer fees. Pochettino splashed out £68m during the summer, including the £30m purchase of Moussa Sissoko from Newcastle United.

The deal for the Frenchman pushed Spurs’ net spend above the £30m mark, but once again the club ensured that they cashed in on their assets. Players who were deemed surplus to requirements, including Nacer Chadli and Ryan Mason, gained £20m in fees from West Brom and Hull respectively.

Both the business and management side of the club seem to know when the time is right to move on from certain people, while using the cash gained from the moves to strengthen the team in the process.

One of the most impressive deals of the window was the £8m that Levy managed to attain for the services of Alex Pritchard from Norwich City. The 23-year-old made just two first-team appearances for Tottenham in his five years at White Hart Lane, although he did enjoy a successful loan spell at Brentford in the 2014-15 season.

However, compare that transfer to the one that brought Dele Alli to Tottenham, where the club paid just £5m to MK Dons for one for the brightest prospects in the English game. Deals like that have proved that money is not always the answer to gaining impressive results on the pitch as Manchester United have discovered in their £90m move for Paul Pogba.

The 23-year-old was part of the Red Devils’ youth system, but was allowed to leave by Sir Alex Ferguson before he starred at Juventus for three seasons. United were forced to pay a world-record sum to regain his services, which have been met with mixed results, although he has started to find his form under Jose Mourinho’s management.

However, Alli has been far more effective on the pitch than his French counterpart, notching 10 goals this term in the Premier League compared to Pogba’s four. Spurs’ eye for the future has seen them leapfrog United in the title race, while spending far less than the Red Devils.

The model developed by Tottenham and Levy should ensure that the club remain in the mix for the long term, building around their supreme talent in Harry Kane, Eric Dier and Alli. The three players have a combined cost of £9m and should they remain on their current trajectories could form the base of a very successful outfit for years to come.

Spurs should heed lessons from Arsenal’s failings to achieve the ultimate goal using the same system. The Gunners sold Thierry Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie at decent rates, and although they were able to plug the gaps with strong talent the loss of those players hit them hard.

The only key cog Tottenham have lost thus far has been Gareth Bale and had he remained they could have been a dominant force not just in the Premier League, but also in the Champions League. Pochettino’s men are trending in the right direction for a very successful future due to the model employed by Levy at the top.

Posted by: Aaron Gourley 

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