Since Daniel Levy took the helm of Tottenham Hotspur back in 2001, he has gained a rather infamous reputation for being a fierce negotiator.
He’s often left his transfer dealings until the final minutes to get the best possible deals. Of course, this has always been a high-risk strategy in North London.
If it comes off, you might save yourself a few million and end up with a bargain of a player. If it fails, not only do you miss out on the target, but you leave yourself very little time to find an alternative.
However, the year is now 2022 and things are different. So, what has changed? I would say three things…
Fabio Paratici has come in as the new managing director of football, taking charge of a hefty chunk of transfer dealings. Spurs finally have a football brain in charge of footballing decisions, while Levy still helps to mastermind the financials.
Secondly, Antonio Conte is in the dugout. And you only get Antonio Conte to stay in your dugout if you promise him big signings in a timely manner.
The rumours are that he wants the bulk of his new signings ready for Tottenham’s pre-season tour of South Korea in July.
And finally, ENIC poured an extra £150m into the club this summer, the first time they have put any extra funds into Tottenham since their early years in charge.
You get the feeling that Levy, ENIC, and the hierarchy know they are onto a winner with Conte and need to strike while the iron is hot.
This has resulted in some rather uncharacteristic transfer activity coming out of N17. Spurs, famous for leaving everything until the last minute like a first-year university student, signed two free agents before the summer transfer window even opened!
Ivan Perisic, who has worked under Conte before and has been a hit at left-wing-back in recent years, was the first through the Hotspur Way doors.
The homegrown numbers were then boosted when Fraser Forster signed on the dotted line, replacing the on-loan Pierluigi Gollini who was sent back to Atalanta.
And now Yves Bissouma has been announced as Tottenham’s first money transfer of the summer, setting them back £25m with a potential £10m in add-ons.
Conte is known to play either 3-4-2-1 or 3-5-2 at his clubs, and an extra enforcer in midfield will give him the flexibility to do that.
Perisic will provide experience down the left flank, as well as quality end product – with Conte relying on his wing-backs for goals and assists. While Bissouma will use his talents to break up play and kickstart those famous Tottenham counter-attacks.
So, what’s to come next?
I would expect Djed Spence to be the fourth player through the doors at Tottenham this summer, signing from Middlesbrough to provide competition to Matt Doherty at right-wing-back.
Fingers crossed number five could be Christian Eriksen on a free transfer, although there is competition from Brentford and Man United.
Conte is known to want a left-centre-back, a second centre-back, and a striker, even if all of the above players are signed, sealed and delivered.
While Alessandro Bastoni looks set to remain at Inter Milan, Spurs are seemingly looking at Pau Torres and Gleison Bremer as potential alternatives.
Kim min-Jae, Ilya Zabarnyi, and Marc Guehi have also been named as centre-back targets to improve the depth of the squad.
In the forward roles, it depends who Tottenham can get at the right price, and whether Conte would prefer an out-and-out striker, someone who can play across the front three, or simply the best talent available.
For someone who can play across the front three, Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus are linked, as is Memphis Depay.
Raphinha is also a winger option rumoured to be interesting Tottenham. If they want an out-and-out striker, then someone like Patrik Schick, Sasa Kalajdzic, or Gianluca Scamacca could be an option.
Whatever the case, it feels as though it is guaranteed to be a huge window for Tottenham, and I believe they will strengthen more than any other Premier League club.
I also have the feeling they could pull off a £60m plus big-name signing to really get some bums off seats ahead of the new campaign… but let’s wait and see.
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