Predicted finish: 4th
Back in February, Antonio Conte told beIN SPORTS’ Carrie Brown that he felt a “1% possibility to finish fourth”.
Fast forward to the end of the season and Tottenham had done just that, motivated by a regime change and manager who has a proven track record of success across both the Premier League and Serie A.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though. There were times throughout the 2021/22 season where Conte’s long-term future looked in doubt, never seemingly satisfied with the conditions which he was operating in. The Italian has allayed fears though, declaring himself “totally involved in this project”.
Spurs have made some eye-catching signings over the summer, suited to Conte’s preferred 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 formations and are being tipped as the most realistic challenger for the well-established top two of Man City and Liverpool.
Both Spurs and North London rivals Arsenal have invested heavily in a bid to close the gap, and Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has raised fans expectations after conducting some exciting business early in the summer.
Enough time has passed now for Harry Kane to play without distraction from suitors Man City, who have elected to forego their pursual of the England captain in favour of Erling Haaland. In what was billed a 'quiet' season for Kane, he still managed 25 goals and 10 assists in all competitions.
Spurs teammate Heung min Son scored 24 across all competitions, finishing the season level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah for the Premier League golden boot. The commercial phenomenon has amassed over 12 million supporters in his native South Korea, and the club sells around 700 Son ‘7’ jerseys ahead of each home match - a key asset on and off the pitch.
The additions of Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison and Clement Lenglet add genuine depth and quality to a side that has already proven its top four credentials. This depth will be required if Conte’s side are to mount a serious challenge on their return to the Champions League, without neglecting their Premier League ambitions.
One to watch: Richarlison
As it’s an Evertonian writing this, there was only ever going to be one choice for one to watch.
Tottenham’s £60m signing of Brazil’s No. 9 – the same shirt number he has been awarded at Spurs – represents a club-record fee for the North London side.
The former Everton man was a firm Toffees fan favourite, in large part due to his relentless work rate in a side performing well below expectations.
Richarlison can play anywhere across the forward line but, unlike Everton, will find some genuine competition for a starting berth at Spurs, due to the success of Son, Kane and Kulusevski in the front three.
‘O Pombo’ managed 10 Premier League goals and five assists last season and fits the mould of what Antonio Conte desires in a player.
With a better team around him, Richarlison has the natural ability and sheer determination to shine and help Tottenham challenge for silverware once more.
First five fixtures: Southampton, Chelsea, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, West Ham
Ivan Perisic (free, Inter Milan)
Fraser Forster (free, Southampton)
Yves Bissouma (£25m, Brighton & Hove Albion)
Richarlison (£60m, Everton)
Clement Lenglet (loan, Barcelona)
Djed Spence (£13.2m, Middlesbrough)
Cameron Carter-Vickers (£6m, Celtic)
Steven Bergwijn (£28.1m, Ajax)
Jack Clarke (undisclosed, Sunderland)
Josh Oluwayemi (free, Portsmouth)
Troy Parrott (loan, Preston North End)
Dane Scarlett (loan, Portsmouth)
Alfie Whiteman (loan, Degerfors)
Kion Etete (undisclosed, Cardiff City)
Tottenham Hotspur total spent to date: £98.2m
Tottenham Hotspur total received to date: £34.1m
Tottenham Hotspur net transfer balance: -£64.1m
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