The Tottenham Hotspur fans are feeling apprehensive in the Transfer Tavern ahead of their side’s clash with Swansea in the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Mauricio Pochettino takes his side to Wales tomorrow for a clash against a side who have been resurgent under the leadership of Carlos Carvahal since he took the reigns from Paul Clement shortly before the turn of the year. Tottenham are under no illusions that they will face a tough task in reaching the semi-final against The Swans, especially considering they have the added pressure of knowing the FA Cup is the last available trophy they can win this season.
The disappointment from their Champions League exit still looms large at the club, but it’s pivotal the players banish any European demons on Saturday to ensure they keep their dream of lifting silverware alive. Spurs have plenty of lessons to learn from their season already, and there are presumably more to come during the final weeks of the season.
One of those lessons concerns the progress of Dele Alli who has not quite lived up to expectation so far this season. Diving scandals have served to overshadow the actual quality of his performances at times, but it’s fair to say that he has still taken his fair share of criticism in relation to his form.
The criticism which has been fired in his direction has often been justified, but his record this season still makes for mightily impressive viewing as he has scored 10 goals and provided 16 assists from 41 appearances. However, Alli’s place in the first-team has hardly come under threat so far this season, and that fact alone is bound to induce feelings of complacency.
With that being said, Pochettino should focus on signing a new number ten this summer to challenge Alli for a place in the first-team in order to catalyse his development. If Pochettino decides to focus his transfer strategy on signing a player to challenge Alli, then he should consider making a loan bid for Liverpool’s Adam Lallana (valued at £22.5 million by Transfermarkt).
Lallana has spent the vast majority of the season so far on the injury table, and as such he has been limited to only 3 starts in all-competitions for The Reds. His struggle with injury is certainly a concern for Liverpool, and after spending an entire season on the sideline there will be plenty of doubts emerging regarding his long-term fitness prospects, so Jurgen Klopp should be open to the possibility of loaning him out next season.
If that proves to be the case, then Pochettino should urge Levy to take a gamble and bring him to North-London on a short-term deal. Although it’s been a long time since Lallana showcased the full extent of his talent, the creativity he could inject into Tottenham’s line-up would offer the club a fresh dynamic in the final-third and simultaneously encourage Alli to fight for his place in the team.
A move for Lallana would represent a risky one due to his recent record with injuries, but if he manages to recover from his recent struggle and prove his fitness during pre-season, then Tottenham should acquire a player who would add genuine quality and depth to their first-team squad.