Tottenham supporters have been somewhat downbeat in the Transfer Tavern in the last few hours after seeing their team only muster a 1-1 draw with London rivals West Ham at Wembley on Thursday night, thus losing ground in the race for a top four spot in the Premier League.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their clash with the Hammers off the back of victories over Burnley, Southampton, and Swansea City, results which moved them to within four points of Liverpool in fourth place. However, they were unable to really put the pressure on Jurgen Klopp’s side as a Pedro Obiang screamer 20 minutes from time set David Moyes’ men on their way to all three points, only for an equally excellent Son Heung-min strike six minutes from the end to preserve a point for the North London outfit.
Subsequently, there have been many frustrated Spurs fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are eagerly anticipating the rest of the January transfer window, and as such who their club may sign in a bid to enjoy an improved second half of the season.
However, one man who won’t be making the move to Wembley is Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, who has reportedly agreed a deal to sign for Premier League champions Chelsea for a fee believed to be around £15 million.
Spurs were one side also thought to be in the running for the England international, yet they now must forget about a move for Barkley, and instead focus all their energies in bringing Leicester City’s Riyad Mahrez to the club.
And that’s because the Algeria star has again proven this season what an outstanding player he is, and as such how much he would improve the Tottenham attacking ranks. They may be different players, but what Mahrez would bring to this Spurs team, possibly pushing Christian Eriksen slightly deeper, could work wonders.
Ultimately, the 26-year-old made his name by inspiring the Foxes to the Premier League title back in 2016, netting 17 goals and laying on 11 assists in a remarkable campaign which saw him deservedly win the PFA Player of the Year award.
And although last season wasn’t his best, he still managed ten goals in all competitions for the Midlands outfit, including four in their extraordinary Champions League run – in contrast, Barkley’s best goal-scoring season saw him net 12 back in 2015/16 campaign.
And while there are still question marks over exactly how good Barkley is and how good he could go on to become, Mahrez has been there and done it in recent seasons, with his form so far this season further underlining his talents, and somewhat proving that last term was a slight blip – just imagine how good he could be around higher quality players at Tottenham.
And with Eriksen occasionally playing in a slightly deeper midfield role, where he has greater control over things and has looked at home, a position in that attacking three behind striker Harry Kane, alongside Dele Alli and Son Heung-min, could be freed up – a position that has surely got Mahrez’s name on it.
It wouldn’t be fair on Erik Lamela to be thrust straight back into first team action and subsequently be expected to perform following injury – Mahrez’s arrival would take the weight off the Argentine’s shoulders so he can concentrate on getting back to fitness once again.
Ultimately though, landing Mahrez would finally give Spurs the sort of depth they need in those attacking ranks, and more significantly give Pochettino another genuine and proven option to choose from, not just someone who adds to the squad.
And while missing out on Barkley is likely to come as a disappointment, they have to turn their attentions towards another attacking gem, namely Leicester’s £27 million-rated Mahrez (as per Transfermarkt).
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