Mauricio Pochettino has transformed Tottenham into a side challenging for the title and has firmly established his credentials as a top manager. In the process, he has also ensured Tottenham can rub their shoulders with some of the top sides in Europe. But with that comes the challenge of building a squad which can sustain the rigours of playing in an elite competition.
Tottenham were ousted of the Champions League in the group stages earlier this season and it showed while they have a young and dynamic team, the experience is what counts on the big stage. With the transfer window reopening soon, the papers have already started linking a few players with the North London outfit.
The most popular one of those names is undoubtedly Real Madrid star Isco who is unsettled and could jump the ship if a club with Champions League football, and the guarantee of a starting berth, make him an offer. Spurs have an accomplished attack, but it can get better with a player like Isco in their starting XI. This was reported a few weeks ago but the media have now brought in another player into the picture.
The player who has divided opinion amongst the fans is Everton attacker Ross Barkley. Although Barkley has made advancements under Ronald Koeman, he might not necessarily be the type of player who will thrive in Tottenham’s all-action system. Barkley had a troubled start to the season and didn’t see eye to eye with Koeman who even decided to publicly criticise the midfielder after Everton’s toothless performance against Southampton late last year.
From Isco to Barkley?
The media’s word isn’t the final by any stretch. There have been some strong rumours linking Barkley to Spurs and considering the club were interested in Isco before the last transfer window, he is likely to remain on their wanted list as well.
Spurs took a gamble last summer when they went and signed Moussa Sissoko for a hefty fee only for him to flop and continue his inconsistent performances which were seen too often at Tyneside. He has been used sparingly and doesn’t seem like a player in Pochettino’s plans.
The big difference between Barkley and Isco is while the former will only add more depth to the squad, the latter will add more value to the playing XI. It’s easy enough to presume what Spurs are after and another expensive transfer for an overrated English talent doesn’t make sense. Pochettino doesn’t commit the same mistake more than once and it’ll be a surprise if Spurs dish out a hefty fee for the Evertonian who could give 10 to 15 good games a season.
Isco has experience in the Champions League despite his young age. He won’t come cheap either, but at least he’s a player who guarantees a better output than Barkley.
Real Madrid usually spend extraordinary money for talented players but a transfer ban didn’t allow them to prance around in the transfer window. With the ban lifted for the upcoming window, there could be some additions which will push Isco further down the pecking order, depending on the players signed of course. So Spurs have to take their chance.