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Some people are concerned about what happens if Harry Kane gets injured. That’s understandable – he’s our main striker. They say that we need backup for Harry Kane. I disagree.
Pochettino says that we’ll be ok even though we didn’t buy another striker during the last transfer window. The truth of that remains to be seen, but he has done more than enough this season to earn our trust, and consequently many of us do indeed trust him in this. The team are certainly stepping up and we’re no longer a ‘one man team’. I trust Poch.
So why do I disagree that we need a backup striker?
It’s actually the word ‘backup’ that I disagree with. Nobody can deny that we need another striker but I think those that think we need backup for Kane are wrong. What we need is competition for Harry. He is a very self-motivated player but needs someone pressing him to do even better. Look at how Walker and Rose have improved under competition for places from Trippier and Davies. Look at how we now have centre-back stability; when Jan is fit again he will have to fight to regain his place as Wimmer is putting up an excellent case to show that he is not just backup but is, in fact, competition. If Mason continues the form he showed against Fiorentina he is competition for Dembélé, not just backup. Lamela, Eriksen, Chadli, Son, Alli, and N’Jie (when recovered) fight for the right to play behind our Harry.
What we need is competition for Harry. He is a very self-motivated player but needs someone pressing him to do even better.
I’m certain that wheels are already turning to bring in competition for Kane next season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it’s Michy Batshuayi. We made enquiries last summer but he signed a new contract at Marseilles. However, we also talked with Marseilles in January so I think that there’s a good chance of us getting our man in the summer. Yes, he won’t come cheap but, with increased TV money and a CL place, we can afford him – even with the new stadium. And getting a new striker on the cheap would be a mistake. We have shown interest in Moussa Dembélé at Fulham (déjà-vu?) but he isn’t yet at the level we require. He would however be a good addition to the squad whilst continuing to learn his trade – a good playing and financial investment – and a good ‘backup’ striker. It makes sense to have three strikers on the books and I’m sure that he would get ample opportunities to play (we’ll again be fighting on four fronts, with the Champions League hopefully replacing this season’s Europa League campaign).
“I’m certain that wheels are already turning to bring in competition for Kane next season, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that it’s Michy Batshuayi…….He is a 22 year-old two-footed player who can score with his head too”
But Harry needs more formidable competition to push him. Batshuayi is an agile, quick, strong centre-forward. He is a 22 year-old two-footed player who can score with his head too. When Marseilles beat Troyes 6-0 in the French league Batshuayi scored two goals and had two assists. Although Marseilles were knocked out of the Europa League by Bilbao just as Tottenham were ensuring their passage into the next round against Fiorentina, it was Batshuayi who scored for Marseilles in a 1-1 draw. Having extended his contract in January 2016, Marseilles will no doubt be reluctant to lose him but the lure of Champions League football and the chance to join a club that’s actually going places (at last) may be too strong for the player to resist. Indeed, the contract extension may well have been designed to push up his price for when he leaves the club, rather than tying him to Marseilles.
Newspaper reports say that we will have to compete with Newcastle and West Ham for Batshuayi’s signature. I find that almost laughable really. Come on guys…it’s West Ham and Newcastle; we’ll have CL football and already have a strong Belgian contingent. Plus we have Pochettino. Who wouldn’t want to work under Poch’s tutelage? West Ham will have a new rented ground, and will maybe scrape into the Europa League. Newcastle have, well, probably, another relegation fight on their hands – and that’s IF they stay up this season. If we do face competition for Batshuayi’s signature I don’t believe it will come from those quarters.
“He (Levy) now has a manager whom he trusts, whom he obviously gets along with, and more importantly does the job well”
Levy is often accused of leaving the signing of players too late in the transfer window, principally by a section of fans who forget that buying a player is not like buying goods from a shop; you can’t just go in, pick your player off the shelf and pay at the cash-desk. If the club doesn’t want to sell to you (just as we didn’t want to sell Modric to Chelsea) then that’s it. If the player doesn’t want to join your club (think Willian) that’s it too. Levy has indeed been guilty of dragging his heels in the past, but I get the feeling that this won’t be the case this summer. He now has a manager whom he trusts, whom he obviously gets along with, and more importantly does the job well. He’s abandoned his traumatic dating history (Ramos, Redknapp, AVB, and everybody’s nightmare, Tim Sherwood) in favour of a serious relationship with Mauricio Pochettino. He won’t want to screw that up.
So, I think that we will indeed get our new striker reasonably early in the summer of 2016. I also think it’ll be Michy Batshuayi. But I’m sure that whoever it is, he will be seen as competition for Harry – not backup.
About the author:
When he’s not sweating because of the tropical heat in northeast Brazil or because of the unpredictability of his beloved Tottenham Hotspur’s performances, Greg can be found teaching English to Brazilians or working on his fledgling novelist career. His latest novel, a sci-fi thriller, titled ’PAST LIVES FUTURE DEATHS’, a tale of love, despair, inhumane experiments, threats, abuse, oppression and rebellion, in a world containing reincarnation, cloning, and the Illuminati can be found as an e-book on Amazon.