With Jose Mourinho looking to steady the ship, The Hard Tackle takes a look at three relegated Premier League players Tottenham Hotspur should sign this summer.
It has been a topsy-turvy campaign for Tottenham Hotspur, who went from UEFA Champions League finalists to sixth-placed finishers in the recently concluded 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
The Lilywhites have shown many weaknesses throughout the course of the campaign and manager Jose Mourinho has a busy transfer window ahead of him as he looks to add more balance to the squad. However, given the economic crisis inflicted by the Coronavirus, the north London giants are understandably operating on a low budget.
It means Mourinho needs to be smart and look for cost-effective options in his bid to strengthen his squad. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will be taking a look at three relegated players Tottenham Hotspur should sign this summer.
Ben Godfrey (Norwich City)
Tottenham Hotspur are in imminent need of at least two centre-backs in this summer transfer window. Experienced defensive figurehead Jan Vertonghen has already announced his departure from the club following years of services. Although the Belgian wasn’t an important figure in the Spurs backline this term, him leaving will create a huge void in the defensive unit.
Additionally, youngster Juan Foyth has failed to impress Mourinho and is also tipped to leave the club while the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Eric Dier have appeared inconsistent with their performances. That is why Tottenham must set their sights on Norwich City sensation Ben Godfrey.
A product of the York City youth academy, Godfrey has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak campaign for the Canaries. He has impressed the onlookers with his ability to read the game as well as his brilliant range of passing.
The 22-year-old’s performances are reflected in his statistics, with the defender averaging almost five clearances per game. Moreover, he has won 2.2 aerial duels and boasts a tackle success rate of 70% (albeit the value of tackles per game are low). Those, combined with his passing capabilities, could add a new dimension to the Tottenham backline.
Indeed, Godfrey can provide someone like Sanchez an added incentive to fight for his place in the first-team, which could ultimately benefit the team as a whole. However, the centre-back might not be available for a cut-price despite Norwich’s relegation this season.
Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth)
While the centre-back position has been an issue, Tottenham Hotspur also haven’t had much luck in the goalkeeping department. Their first-choice ‘keeper, Hugo Lloris, in particular, has gone through a steady decline over the past three years.
GK – Aaron Ramsdale (22)
Club – Bournemouth
The young keeper ranks 3rd in saves made in the PL with 120 with a 68% save percentage. While he is mildly underperforming his expected statistics (by 0.7), he has looked promising.
Potential buyers- SHU, EVE, TOT, CHE. pic.twitter.com/eVFeWrl9q1
— Ameya (@LampardsLegacy) July 27, 2020
The Frenchman, though undoubtedly experienced, has been found lacking in terms of his reflexes. And when it comes to playing the ball out of the back, he falls pale in comparison to the likes of Ederson, Alisson or even Kepa Arrizabalaga. He has also appeared incompetent in terms of his goalkeeping, at times.
But on a more important note, Spurs lack depth in the goalkeeping department, with second-choice ‘keeper, Paulo Gazzaniga still failing to make a breakthrough into the first-team. That is where someone like Aaron Ramsdale could come in handy.
The 22-year-old has been Bournemouth’s breakthrough goalkeeper, getting the nod ahead of Artur Boruc and making 37 appearances in 2019/20. He has performed quite well too, making the third-highest number of saves in the league, with a save percentage of 67%.
Although Ramsdale is not adept in acting as a sweeper ‘keeper, he has time on his side and should prove to be a cost-effective option in Tottenham’s bid to find a long-term replacement for Lloris. In the meantime, he can also provide better competition to the Frenchman than Gazzaniga.
As a matter of fact, the Bournemouth goalkeeper is already being linked to a move to north London, if reports from Daily Mail are to be believed. So it seems Mourinho has his homework done so far.
Max Aarons (Norwich City)
The right-back area has emerged as a problem for Tottenham Hotspur ever since the departure of Kieran Trippier last summer. The English international left a massive void in that role – something Serge Aurier has failed to fix.
The Ivorian has often appeared inconsistent, particularly with his defensive game as he tends to lose sight of his marker. The ex-PSG star also has poor positioning sense and is just not disciplined enough to thrive under the defence-oriented approach of Mourinho.
In addition, he also lacks responsibility in his game, with very low temperament. Although Aurier’s offensive qualities, as well as his unrivaled work ethic, have helped him become a key member of the side, he simply hasn’t been able to bring enough quality to the table.
Other options for Tottenham was Foyth, who has failed to make a breakthrough under Mourinho while Kyle Walker-Peters was sent to Southampton on loan in January. He has done a good job at St. Mary’s Stadium and could prolong his time with the Saints. And so one of the players Spurs could go for is Norwich City’s crown jewel, Max Aarons.
RB – Max Aarons (20)
Club – Norwich
Fantastic talent with 72 crosses, 32 passes into penalty box, 24 key passes, 54 shot creating actions and 49 dribbles completed. Also ranks 2nd in the league for blocks (100), 36 tackles won and 35 interceptions.
Potential buyers – TOT, SOT pic.twitter.com/GpRrlsERMI
— Ameya (@LampardsLegacy) July 27, 2020
Often regarded as one of the most gifted young right-backs in England, the 20-year-old has made quite a mark in the Premier League, notably making 36 league appearances this season. Although the Canaries were the worst team in the league, Aarons has impressed the onlookers with his all-round gameplay and excellent tenacity.
It has been reflected in the defender’s statistics as he has racked up 1.8 attempted tackles, two clearances, 1.3 successful dribbles, one interception and 0.6 key passes per game. He also loves to win back possession back for his team, which could make Aarons a tailor-made fit for Mourinho’s footballing philosophy.
Norwich City reportedly want £30 million for Aarons this summer, although Tottenham Hotspur could face stiff competition from arch-rivals Arsenal, in the pursuit of the right-back.