January is always an important month for clubs, up and down the country. Managers have had the chance to assess their respective squads after a gruelling opening five months and have the chance to strengthen their team till 31st of January, 2012. Although no major deals really occur during the winter window, unless you are Liverpool or Chelsea, it is still a presentable opportunity to really strengthen in areas that need serious investment.

For Tottenham Hotspur, there are three main areas which need to be improved by manager Harry Redknapp before the clock rings for midnight on January 31st.

Defence

Growing injury concerns over Ledley King and William Gallas, coupled with the uncertainty over Sebastien Bassongai??i??s future at the club, could well see Redknapp dip into the market to bolster the back-four before the close of the transfer window. In terms of full-backs, Spurs have ample cover, but in the middle of the defence, only Younes Kaboul and Michael Dawson, the latter having only just recovered from a four-month spell on the sidelines, are fit to start and arenai??i??t having their futures thrust into question.

With that in mind, Spurs have been linked with a host of centre-backs this month. Jan Vertonghen of Ajax, Blackburn Roversai??i?? Christopher Samba and Gary Cahill from Bolton Wanderers are the three main candidates to have been mentioned in the same sentence of the perennial title contenders. And while Cahill looks all but set to join Chelsea, Samba and Vertonghen are both viable targets for the North Londoners.

Last month, Belgian international Vertonghen was reported to be set to move to White Hart Lane in a move worth around A?10m and despite the rumours proving unsubstantiated; fans are still hopeful the 24-year-old Ajax captain will be pulling on a white shirt at some point within the next three weeks. However, a number of the Spurs faithful believe Samba will be a better acquisition this month and you can understand their reasoning.

The 27-year-old Congolese international has something important that Vertonghen doesnai??i??t – Premier League experience. Redknapp is big believer that an understanding of Englandai??i??s top tier is pivotal to the success of any player and club, something Samba packs in abundance having joined from Hertha Berlin back in 2007. However, what may prove to be a hindrance to his potential signing could well be his style of defending. Samba is less of a ball-playing centre-back and more of a warrior-esc player, all too similar to Kaboul and Dawson.


Vertonghen -Ai??North London bound?

Vertonghen, on the other hand, prefers to keep the ball on the deck and play it, in a similar fashion to Gallas and King and is exactly the type of defender that Spurs could do with at White Hart Lane. It is well-documented that Kaboul and Dawson canai??i??t play together, as evidenced through the 5-1 defeat to Manchester City in August, so his arrival will certainly boost the defensive quality available to Redknapp.

Midfield

One thing that Spurs lack in the midfield is cover on the wings. A profusion of talent in the middle of the park, including Sandro, Scott Parker and Luka Modric, has left a gap on the wings that need filling.

As witnessed during the 1-0 win over Sunderland last month, without Aaron Lennon, who was subbed off early on with a hamstring problem, and Gareth Bale, Spurs lose a lot of width without one, or both, of the wing dynamos on each flank.

Two names have regularly been linked with a move to cover both Lennon and Bale; Marko Marin and Junior Hoilett. Marin has regularly been mooted as a possible arrival in North London for the best part of 18 months but, as such, no move has materialised, with the German international keen to remain with Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen.

As such, no bid has been lodged either this transfer window or the previous two, which leads one to believe that the interest wonai??i??t be followed up. The other candidate is Hoilett. The Canadian youngster has been in imperious form for Blackburn this season and remains a bright spark in a somewhat dreary campaign for Steve Keanai??i??s side.

The 21-year old Hoilett, who can be utilised on the left, right or behind the striker, is the perfect player to cover for Bale and/or Lennon when one or the other are out through injury or suspension. Furthermore, he is the type of the player that will push them to up their respective performances and has the real possibility to leapfrog ahead of them in the pecking order.

With his contract soon to expire, he may well be the cheaper option to Marin and, like Samba, has the Premier League experience unlike his German counter-part. With the interest in him said to be firming up, it may be pivotal to see Redknapp and Levy make their move for the winger sooner rather than later.

Up front

Following the departure of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008, Spurs never really replaced the Bulgarian until Emmanuel Adebayor arrived over the summer, albeit, on loan. However, the Togolese striker is likely to head back to parent club Manchester City once the current campaign ends, with Spurs unlikely to match his extravagant wage demands, reported to be around the A?175k mark.

With that in mind, Redknapp has moved to act swiftly to bring in a front-man, especially with Roman Pavlyuchenko and Giovani Dos Santos likely to be shipped out this month. Loic Remy from Marseille, Chelseaai??i??s Didier Drogba and Demba Ba of Newcastle have all been linked with a potential move to White Hart Lane. However, only one, if that, is likely to arrive this month.

At present, the strongest contender appears to be Remy. Redknapp talked up the Frenchman earlier this week amidst strong rumours linking the club with a potential swap deal involving the former Nice front-man and Pavlyuchenko. However, his goals-to-game ratio isnai??i??t exceptional and the player himself wouldnai??i??t be capable of leading the line like an all out number nine would.

Drogba, on the other hand, has all the attributes to succeed at Spurs but, chances are Chelsea wouldnai??i??t allow him to join one of their fiercest rivals and with ambitious Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua readying a deal worth a reported mammoth A?300k-a-week, the Ivorian may be convinced to join former team-mate Nicholas Anelka in the far east.

Finally, Ba has been in brilliant form since his move to Newcastle United and has 15 league goals already to his name. A reported release clause of around A?7m has been talked up by Redknapp, leading to speculation Spurs are readying a bid for the Senegalese international. However, the player himself has denied such talk, insisting he is thinking only of the African Cup of Nations. Meanwhile, reports of PSG taking an interest in him have seemingly appealed to the 26-year-old.

It would make more sense for Spurs to re-ignite their interest in Internacional striker Leandro Damiao. The Brazilian youngster has all the makings of a world class striker and after having numerous bids for him turned down last summer, has now seen his value sky rocket after a series of astounding displays in the Brazilian league. However, if push did come to shove, Drogba would also be a good option, should he become available. Physically, a nightmare for any defence on his day and recently showcased his capabilities on the big stage with a series of fine performances for the Blues.

So, even though clubs tend to remain quiet during January, signing a centre-back, winger and striker must remain the priority for Redknapp this month. If they are to be considered genuine title contenders, the aforementioned positions must be strengthened for the club to push on and achieve success.

Follow the author on Twitter @BenMcAleer1

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13 Responses to “Tottenham Hotspur Transfers – Spurs Look Towards Vertonghen, Hoilett & Drogba In January”

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  1. rob says:

    Good point about Samba being too similar to Dawson and Kabould and our needing another ball playing CB to supplement King and Gallas.

    The rest, a it iffy. Drogba won’t be joining us full stop. Hoilett could have a chance of jumping ahead of Gareth Bale in the pecking order? Are you high?

  2. IoanX says:

    I believe it is better to ask Levy what he thinks about it.
    I don’t think he shares the ambitions for glory and titles of the Spurs fans.
    His only ambition is how to make more money.

  3. Edwhite says:

    If Spurs are looking for new wingers as back up, the pair I would like are Georginho Wijnaldum and Michael Bastos, both brilliant wide men. Because if Spurs can reach the Champions League they are going to need players of a similar calibre to Bale and Lennon as cover. If Spurs are to move on next season, they need players to compete in all competitions.

  4. Hamish says:

    Good point loanx. Levy is only interested in money and the best way to make himself rich is to prevent his club from being successful. Idiot.

  5. kols says:

    well if we get rid of adeoffsidebayor i will be most pleased. almost miss crouch(almost). just seen spurs vs wolves. and spurs again lost points to utd wehen we should win a game. and bale was crapp today, all of his shots was over, and ade was offside most of the game, no one did shoot the ball from 20-16meters. only modders, and it was a goal. we need a forwar that can score goals, not another big, lumbering,slow moving adebayor, who maybe will get 15 goals a season. that is not good enough. if thats good enough we can forget cl, modric,bale and vdv at whit hart lane. and we aint going to buy enyone this window so we should be ready for chelsea coming back to their best, and thats not good for spurs. playing like today, we will loose alot of points!

  6. calebray says:

    you plum, there isnt a better run club in the country- hes made a few mistakes but so have we all.

    prefer mike ashley?
    Levy wants spurs success because joe lewis does – the proper way.

  7. Steve R says:

    Adebayor is so overrated. It could be because he is on loan, that it somehow convinces people that he is better than he is. He runs around alot, does have alot of skill and can do unpredictable stuff, but his positional sense is complete nonsense. I have never seen a player who is caught offside as many times as him. Why have the Spurs management not coached him how to stay onside??

    • Jim says:

      Have you forgotton Jermaine Defoe? He makes Ade’s positioning look world class! What Ade does give you is someone who gives defenders a hard time (physically and in closing down) as well as being able to bring his team mates into play. Things that no other Spurs forward has a hope of doing… If there was another affordable and available option out there I’m sure Harry would be all over it… Shame we didn’t get Damiao when we could’ve…

  8. M Spur says:

    Adebayor wasnt offside yesterday! He has suffered from bad officiating! If he didnt score, the Wolves keeper would have caught Bales effort. You can’t win every match and Adebayor has added lots to the Spurs attack and holds back the opposition centre backs.

  9. Peter says:

    Spot on M Spur, he misses loads of chances and his offside a wee bit too much, but he occupies 2 players which gives all the other lads the space. If you can’t see this ur watching ur own game and not the real game. We were unlucky yesterday but didn’t get beat. That’s what’s important to me. Staying unbeaten installs confidence.

  10. BrizzleSpur says:

    Having a game midweek before hand doesn’t help does it?
    A few years ago, we would of just failed to turn up and not taken anything.
    Can we NOT turn into a bunch of MANU fans and start expecting to beat everyone ALL the time?
    This is football, anyone can drop points to anyone, as long as you don’t make a habit of it (like we once did) we’ll be fine.
    Harry is right imo, we need one maybe two improvements. Ade has added a bit of composure up-front, don’t tell me you don’t see it.
    As for this article, I understand the points raised, but to summarrise that there are “3 areas we need to strengthen, def-mid-att, is rather benign. Thats basically the whole squad minus the GK.
    And if I’m honest, the GK position is the one we need to look at. Brad is a Ledge, but he’s getting on a bit isn’t he?
    Personally, I’d like to see Krul, and Vertonghen come in.
    Give Vertonghen half a season to settle and be ready to replace Gallas for next season. Remy would be a great addition, but not likely to happen until the summer.