Tottenham Hotspur finished 2018 in the most Spursy way possible, fighting their way into the title race and overtaking Manchester City in the process, only to blow a lead at home to Wolves and effectively take themselves out of the title equation once more.
Then they pull themselves picking into the race again by their finger nails battering Cardiff 3-0 in Wales on Tuesday night.
With the January transfer window opening soon, we took a look at some of the players Spurs should invest in if they are to keep their slim title hopes alive, and challenge on the European front at the same time.
N’Dombele might represent a commentator’s nightmare if he lines up in the same midfield as Moussa Dembele, but he is also exactly what Spurs need as central midfield is the one area where they look a little light. Dembele himself has been absent for the majority of the season and Spurs have thus far struggled to replace him.
Victor Wanyama has also barely featured due to injury, leaving Mauricio Pochettino to choose from a selection of Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko, not exactly Xavi, Iniesta and Busquets is it?
Winks and Dier have the passing range of a crab and while Sissoko has been much improved this season, but also turns 30 in the New Year and cannot be relied upon to consistently perform in any case.
Lyon’s N’Dombele appears to be a ready-made replacement for Dembele, with the potential to be even better than the Belgian midfielder. With five goals in 100 professional appearances, N’Dombele doesn’t appear to be someone who will add 10 goals a season from midfield, but Tottenham wouldn’t need him to. Harry Kane, Heung Min Son, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli provide enough of those between them and Spurs need someone who can dominate a game from midfield.
The Lyon midfielder has acted as a platform for the likes of Memphis Depay, Nabil Fekir and Maxwel Cornet to go and express themselves this season, and he gave eye-catching performances in both games against Manchester City in the Champions League.
With Dembele the wrong side of 30, and seemingly on the verge of leaving the club, N’Dombele could just be the man to step in and fill the void. However, with a host of other clubs interested in the Frenchman, Spurs will have to pay big, big money to lure him away from Lyon this winter.
Tottenham finally appear to be getting rid of Danny Rose, be that in January or in Summer. The truth about Rose is that he just isn’t that good and when he does eventually depart the club, Ben Davies will be the only out and out left back at the club.
While Davies has proved himself to be an excellent fullback for Spurs, they need cover on their left flank.
Leicester’s Ben Chilwell has been heavily linked with Spurs and he would be an ideal deputy for Davies. Chilwell came to prominence in Leicester’s Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid in 2017 and has been gradually making the left-back berth his own ever since.
At 22, Chilwell will only get better and may even become Spurs’ first choice left back in the future if he was to make the move to London.
Brooks has been absolutely sensational for Bournemouth this season, scoring five times for the Cherries in the league. The Welshman has lit up the Premier League since joining from Sheffield United in the summer and his outrageous header against Brighton was the standout moment of a brilliant season so far.
At 21, the future is very bright for Brooks and if his star continues to rise, there’s no telling how far he could go.
The only certainty about Brooks’ career is that he won’t finish it at Bournemouth. Brooks’ value could easily double in the summer if he continues in the same vain, so Tottenham would be wise to get him now before his stock rises even further.
Bournemouth already seem destined for mid-table obscurity after a promising start and the lure of Champions League football could easily be enough to tempt Brooks away from Dean Court.
Pochettino has also proven he is excellent at developing young players, making Tottenham the most logical next step for Brooks to take in what promises to be a great career.