Lost amidst all the excitement about Leicester City winning their first top flight title in their 132 year history was the fact that their closest challengers could have won their first top flight title in 55 years.
Tottenham have had a great season, a young team that is expertly coached and in a prime London location. They will have the Premier League’s new TV deal and the prospect of Champions League soccer to recruit new players as well next season.
However, this season they will end up finishing around 10 points behind the champions, which is a significant gap to make up. Eighty five to 90 points is what you traditionally need to win the league these years (Leicester could finish with 83), so what do they need to do to make up the gap, or even just consolidate and solidify their top-four standings?
Keep hold of seven players
It’s hardly rocket science, but the core strength of Tottenham and why they are a safe bet to shake up the established Premier League order is the fact that their best players are all young for their positions, and still to enter their primes.
The more that the core group (listed above) plays together (and the older ones, in Alderweireld and Lloris play positions that have more longevity in central defender and goalkeeper), the more they will have a chance to gain success.
Not only will they keep playing with each other, but they all have at least two seasons of full experience in the English game. This helps with the style of soccer and refereeing, getting used to how certain teams will play, and getting used to the different scheduling (three tournaments minimum and no winter break).
What will help Tottenham is that there are no natural suitors for a lot of these players. Spanish sides are all relatively stocked with talent or facing transfer bans, and Bayern Munich, Juventus, and PSG also only require minor tweaks. Chelsea and Manchester United would be able to offer more money in the short-term, but look unlikely to have top level European soccer. Weighted against that are Tottenham’s new stadium plans and London revenue stream meaning that they can still pay extremely well.