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Jul 20, 2014

Transfer Talk: Tottenham's summer so far

Mauricio Pochettino faces a challenge in molding Tottenham in his image and stablising a club that brought in no fewer than seven players last summer.

With the transfer window in full swing, ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger Dan Fitch discusses how Mauricio Pochettino's side are shaping up ahead of the new season.

IN -- Nobody. How very Tottenham.

OUT -- Jake Livermore (Hull, eight million pounds).

Expected budget

When Mauricio Pochettino was appointed, his transfer budget was reported to be as little as 30 million pounds by some sources and as much as 50 million pounds by others. Whatever the truth, there should be plenty of money to spend. Last summer's lavish expenditure was largely financed by the sale of Gareth Bale, while Steven Caulker, Clint Dempsey, William Gallas, Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker also departed, to increase the transfer coffers and decrease the wage bill.

The arrival of Roberto Soldado signaled the end of Jermain Defoe's time at Spurs, with the Englishman signing for MLS side Toronto FC in January.

Since then, Jermain Defoe and Jake Livermore have been sold. More squad players are likely to leave before the season's start, so finding the funds for transfer targets shouldn't be an issue, even though the club's costly stadium project is finally underway.

Rate your business so far

Last summer, the appointment of Franco Baldini seemed to galvanise the club, and a number of transfer targets were landed early. The World Cup inevitably slows down the transfer market but the fact remains that the clubs that Spurs hope to compete with have already managed to land deals.

The lack of progress could be Daniel Levy reverting to type, or more optimistically, a sign that the squad doesn't actually need that much reinforcement. Regardless, with so little movement, it's difficult to define this window as good or bad.

Transfer Rating: 5/10

Who should be sold?

It's a long list. The time has come for Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Michael Dawson and Gylfi Sigurdsson to depart. Further, an argument could be made for adding any of Emmanuel Adebayor, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Mousa Dembele, Younes Kaboul, Aaron Lennon, Kyle Naughton, Paulinho or Roberto Soldado to that list of potential sales.

Michael Dawson's decade-long stay at White Hart Lane could come to an end this summer.

Much will depend on who potential buyers are interested in. Soldado, for example, could well come good next season, but if the club were presented with the opportunity to get their money back on him, then the deal would have to be seriously considered.

Of course, trimming a squad can prove easier said than done, and it's rumoured that Dawson and Sigurdsson are reluctant to leave. In the case of Dawson, it's difficult to be anything but sympathetic towards a player who has always given his all, but the fact remains that he doesn't have the legs to play in Tottenham's likely system. If it's a case of paying a portion of the players' wages to get them out, then the club should bite the bullet.

Who should be signed?

Swansea youngster Ben Davies has been heavily linked with a move to Spurs, with left-back the club's priority. In typical Tottenham fashion, the club are said to be quibbling over the Swans' valuation and ready to pull the plug on the deal. Sevilla's Alberto Moreno and Chelsea's Ryan Bertrand have also been mentioned as left-back solutions.

If Dawson departs, a new central defender will also be needed. Dejan Lovren will probably prove too expensive, while another former Pochettino player -- Hector Moreno -- broke his leg during the World Cup, so the identity of that centre-back is currently anyone's guess.

Twenty-one-year-old Swansea left-back Ben Davies could shore up a position that has caused Spurs headaches for two seasons.

The midfield needs trimming rather than adding to, although Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin has nevertheless been linked to a swift reunion with his former coach and would be a welcomed addition. Up front, Romelu Lukaku and Wilfried Bony are supposed targets, but I wouldn't expect a striker to sign unless a deal to offload one of Adebayor or Soldado could be struck.

Problem solving: What do you need?

Left-back has been a problem for two seasons, with the club inexplicably going into both campaigns with only one specialist player for this position. The aforementioned Davies has been linked and seems an ideal signing. Since breaking into the Swansea side two seasons ago, the Welsh international has quickly established himself as one of the better left-backs in the Premier League.

When 19-year-old Luke Shaw is transferred for 30 million pounds, a fee in the region of 11 million pounds for the 21-year-old Davies looks to be something of a bargain. Spurs could sign an older player from abroad with more experience, but it may well take them time to adjust to the Premier League. Davies should not have such problems, but I'm expecting someone like Liverpool to pull off the deal, to leave Tottenham facing years of regret.