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Transfer Rater: Gotze to Tottenham

Football Whispers

Transfer Rater: Jack Grealish to Tottenham

Football Whispers
 By Ben Pearce

Tottenham need striker to help Kane with Perez a possibilty

With the transfer window upon us, here's a look at what to expect from Tottenham ...

Will Mauricio Pochettino be busy in the transfer market?

Tottenham tend to be frugal in the winter window and Dele Alli was the only new arrival last January for £5 million.

The fact that Spurs failed with their late attempts to sign West Brom striker Saido Berahino in the summer suggests there is still money in the bank earmarked for new recruits, but with a new stadium to finance and Pochettino expressing his happiness with the balance of his squad, they will be loathe to pay over the odds for a target.

Good value is notoriously difficult to find in this window, so the chances are that Spurs will do as little as possible -- although, like last January, they may just take this opportunity to steal a march on their rivals and snap up another promising youngster.

What do Spurs need?

A striker is the priority and a necessity. The summer window ended with Harry Kane as Spurs' only specialist centre-forward, and while they have gotten away with it so far, they simply cannot afford to gamble on his fitness and form for another four or five months.

They need a forward to provide cover and to enable rotation in the Europa League and FA Cup. The big question is whether Spurs can find someone who ticks all of their boxes for a price they are willing to pay.

An experienced central midfielder also appeared to be needed in the summer, but the issue does not look so pressing now. Eric Dier has been as good as a new signing in that role, and Mousa Dembele has become a key player again, so last season's first-choice duo -- Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb -- now face fights to get into Pochettino's first-choice XI, while Alli can also play in front of the back four.

Spurs may seek to replace Federico Fazio if the centre-back departs, but they may also feel they have enough options for now, with Dier able to drop into defence if necessary, and wait until the summer.

Transfer targets

At the start of September it seemed likely that Spurs would attempt to sign Berahino again in January, and a move would surely be best for all parties given that his form and involvement at West Brom has declined markedly since his desired transfer was blocked.

Marseille striker Michy Batshuayi has also been mentioned as a possibility, but Spurs may not fancy taking a risk on another imported forward after their expensive mistake with Roberto Soldado -- and Clinton Njie has struggled to adapt after arriving from French club Lyon in the summer and is currently out after undergoing surgery.

Tottenham have also been linked with Newcastle 22-year-old Ayoze Perez. He is not a regular starter for the struggling Tyneside club and has only scored four times this season, but he certainly seems to have a liking for White Hart Lane, having scored winning goals against Tottenham in north London in each of the last two seasons.

Newcastle's Ayoze Perez might make for a nice addition up top for Tottenham.
Newcastle's Ayoze Perez might make for a nice addition up top for Tottenham.

Ideal signing

Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy is quick, good in the air and has the work ethic that Pochettino craves. He would provide genuine competition for Kane, as well as cover, and his arrival would be a huge boost for Spurs' top-four bid while also weakening a Leicester side who are looking increasingly like genuine rivals.

Is a move to Tottenham likely? Not really. Even if Leicester agreed to sell him and Vardy wanted to leave the Foxes, there is sure to be stiff competition for his signature and Spurs are aiming to develop young talent -- which they are doing successfully -- rather than spend big on 28-year-olds.

Berahino remains a more realistic target. Tottenham clearly identified the 22-year-old, who struck 20 goals for West Brom last season, as the best option in the summer, and if they can recruit him now, they would no doubt be happy.

Exit door

Fazio has played only one game this season, and it was a poor performance in the 2-1 home defeat to Arsenal in the Capital One Cup. He has no future at the club.

Andros Townsend is also out of favour, with his last appearance for the first team coming two months ago, in the 2-1 defeat against Anderlecht in Brussels on Oct. 22.

He has recently been turning out for the under-21 team, at his own request, while 18-year-old Joshua Onomah is being given more and more chances, making his first start for the senior team earlier this month in the 4-1 home win over Monaco.

It seems Townsend has been replaced by a younger model from the academy, and even though Njie is now out of action with a knee injury, Townsend was still unable to get a place on the bench at Southampton on Saturday.

The message seems pretty clear and it is probably time for him to leave, especially if he has any hopes of getting into Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2016 in the summer.

Ben is ESPN FC's Tottenham blogger. Follow on Twitter: @BenPearceSpurs.


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