Harry Kane remains Tottenham's most vital player as Toby Alderweireld's importance wanes
Last September, we looked at the most important players at Tottenham Hotspur. With the new season underway, who are the risers and fallers?
This list is not extensive and has been ranked according to varying factors. Some players still with a part to play have been omitted. Performance, potential, the ability to make an impact and influence over the course of a game, other options in that area of the field, the ability or inability to replace them and market value have all played a part in revising the 15.
1. Harry Kane (no change)
The striker was Europe's top goal scorer in 2017, with 56 goals in 52 games for club and country, and he has just won the World Cup Golden Boot. Spurs could simply not afford to replace him with someone of similar quality. And as a homegrown academy product who has become England's captain, Kane is a powerful icon for the club.
2. Christian Eriksen (no change)
The Dane continues to be a vital creative force. Like Kane, he is priceless.
3. Jan Vertonghen (+1)
The Belgian has only grown in importance, and he was named Spurs' player of the season for 2017-18. Solid defensively, his incisive forward passes also are crucial to Tottenham's buildup play.
4. Dele Alli (-1)
The 22-year-old had a mixed season last time out but was still a man for big occasions, scoring twice in notable victories against Real Madrid and Chelsea. Mauricio Pochettino believes Alli is the best player in the world at his age, and his winner at Newcastle on Saturday bodes well for the season ahead.
5. Hugo Lloris (+2)
Goalkeepers have become expensive, and Spurs are fortunate to have one who just won the World Cup. As a sweeper-keeper, Lloris is tactically important. So are his leadership qualities, as the captain of both Spurs and France.
6. Mousa Dembele (-1)
With less than a year left on his contract, his Spurs career could be ending. The 31-year-old might be past his imperious best now, and his game time might need to be managed due to long-term physical issues. But given his rare balance of strength and skill, he would still be hugely difficult to replace.
7. Son Heung-Min (+5)
There were times last term when the South Korea international was probably Spurs' most dangerous player. He offers the pace that some of his attacking teammates lack and can play anywhere across the front four -- including up front in Kane's absence. His profile in Asia is commercially valuable too. He just needs to avoid military service.
8. Harry Winks (new entry)
The 22-year-old has the potential to be a worthy successor to Dembele. Ankle problems have undermined his progress, but if he can stay fit, he can be a central figure for club and country.
9. Davinson Sanchez (+6)
While Spurs' record signing has some way to go to reach Toby Alderweireld's level, he was preferred to the Belgian toward the end of last season, and he already has built a stable partnership with Vertonghen. Like Winks, he is set to be an important figure for many years.
10. Eric Dier (-1)
The 24-year-old had an inconsistent season last term, but he remains a key figure. His versatility and tactical intelligence help Spurs to change shape seamlessly during matches, and his fitness levels and injury record also are important. He is almost always available, which has been valuable given the issues Winks, Dembele and Victor Wanyama have had.
11. Kieran Trippier (new entry)
The right-back seized his chance after Kyle Walker's departure, and his stock has risen rapidly in the past year, culminating in an impressive World Cup. His crossing is a weapon, and with his defending constantly improving, he is only increasing in value.
12. Danny Rose (-1)
The England international is a fine left-back but has struggled to stay fit and consistently produce his best since his knee injury in January 2017, while his future is in real doubt. Spurs have largely coped without Rose for the past 18 months, but it would still be a risk to let him leave now, with no chance to sign a replacement.
13. Toby Alderweireld (-7)
Like Rose, the Belgian is one of the best players in his position, but due to a contract standoff, his days at Spurs look numbered. It would undoubtedly be a blow to lose him, but at least in this instance the north Londoners already have Sanchez.
14. Ben Davies (-1)
Like Trippier, the Welshman has gone from being a deputy full-back to the first-choice player and has improved greatly. But if Rose departs, there will still be a concern that Tottenham are lacking dynamism at left-back. Davies is unlikely to get any quicker.
15. Erik Lamela (new entry)
The Argentinian has been dogged by injury problems, but at his best, he is another clever player who offers creativity between the lines and a goal threat. He also is a fierce competitor. With Lucas Moura yet to find his feet in the Premier League, Lamela offers strength in depth.