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Tottenham Hotspur 2022-23 PL Season Preview – Can Spurs Break The City-Liverpool Duopoly?

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates his goal
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Big things are expected from Tottenham in the 2022/23 Premier League season with a world-class manager in Antonio Conte, two elite forwards in Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son and a slate of new signings in the summer transfer window.

Where we left off

2021/22 season: 4th position | 4th most goals scored | 4th fewest goals conceded

Tottenham took advantage of a floundering Arsenal at the end of the season to grab the fourth and final Champions League spot. After a shaky start under new manager Antonio Conte, Spurs got their act together in the run-in, losing just one of their last 11 league games and taking 13 points from the final 15 available, including an incredible 1-1 draw at Anfield. The switch to a back three helped shore up a leaky defence, while the January additions of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski gave the team the extra quality needed on the pitch to return to the European elite.

Off-season moves 

Incomings

1. Richarlison – £52 million (Everton)
2. Ivan Perisic – Free Transfer (Inter Milan)
3. Djed Spence – £15 million (Middlesborough)
4. Yves Bissouma – £26 million (Brighton)
5. Clement Lenglet – Loan (Barcelona)
6. Fraser Forster – Free Transfer (Southampton)

Outgoings

1. Steven Bergwijn – £28 million (Ajax)

Tottenham have been busy in the summer of 2022, making major moves in the transfer window to give Antonio Conte his ideal squad for next season. After the owners provided the club with a £150 million capital injection via a new round of shares issued, Tottenham were aggressive in the transfer market. The North London club added two new wing-backs (Spence and Perisic), quality depth up front (Richarlison), a left-footed centre-back (Lenglet), and a more athletic central midfielder (Yves Bissouma).

Probable Starting XI and Squad Depth 

Tottenham Hotspur squad depth

Staring XI – BOLD
Players in red likely to leave this summer

The Squad (in 12 words or less)

Hugo Lloris, GK – World-class shot-stopper, less effective with his feet

Matt Doherty, RB – Top draw wing-back; just don’t expect him to defend at a high level

Djed Spence, RB – Extraordinary athleticism, excellent offensively, prone to the occasional mistake

Emerson Royal, RB – Not PL-Top 4 quality, expecting a loan move to Spain

Cristian Romero, CB – Top 10 CB in the league, aggressive, athletic, reads the game well

Eric Dier, CB – Excellent leader, weaknesses of defending in space get covered in a back 3

Clement Lenglet, CB – Can pass at an elite level, but that’s pretty much at it

Ben Davies, CB – Good squad man, depth for LCB and LWB

Ryan Sessegnon, LB – Needs first-team action after finally showing some promise last season

Sergio Reguilon, LB – Form tailed off in 2022 and is probably surplus to requirements for Conte

Ivan Perisic, LB – 15 goal contributions from LWB last season, but how much do those legs have left?

Yves Bissouma, CM – Athletic, mobile CM; won’t offer much in possession but does everything else

Rodrigo Bentancur, CM – Not much of a goal threat but CL quality midfielder

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, CM – Dogged midfielder, good ball carrier, great dressing room character

Harry Winks, CM – Excellent in possession, less so without it

Dejan Kulusevski, RW – Doesn’t have the pace but is the perfect complement to the Kane-Son duo

Heung-Min Son, LW – Most deadly finisher in the world

Harry Kane, ST – The second-best number nine in the world at the moment

Richarlison, ST – Covers all three attacking positions, perfect bench buy at a reasonable cost

Burning Question: Can they break the City-Liverpool duopoly?

Following their transfer dealings this summer, Tottenham may be the best-placed team to break the current Manchester City Liverpool duopoly that has dominated the Premier League for the last half-decade. Since Antonio Conte’s arrival in early November, Tottenham gathered the third-most points in the league, losing just six of their 28 games under the Italian with a healthy goal difference of 36. Although Chelsea improve with the additions of Sterling and Koulibaly, among others, Tottenham are more of a win-now team than the transitioning Blues. Tottenham possess two of the top ten players in the league in Kane and Son and a winning coach that knows how to get the best out of them.

Additionally, Spurs have pressed all the right buttons in the summer to give Conte the side he needs to make a title push. Richarlison is the perfect backup forward for Tottenham, providing Premier League experience and cover in all three attacking positions to ensure that there is no significant drop in quality due to injuries or suspensions.

Djed Spence and Ivan Perisic are the archetype Conte wing-backs that will improve Tottenham’s attacking potency, while Yves Bissouma is exactly the midfielder they need to take the next level. The Mali international is Premier League-proven, tactically elite, and amongst the best ball-winners in the country. Although he doesn’t offer much with his progressive passing, Bissouma is a neat dribbler that can help Spurs retain and recycle possession and sustain attacks.

There are some questions with the defensive acquisitions of Clement Lenglet as the left-centre-back, but the compactness of an Antonio Conte block papers over a lot of the cracks, and Spurs are slowly assembling all the ingredients needed to break the 80-point barrier in the league.

Predicted Finish – 3rd

 

[Featured Image Credit: Tottenham Hotspur]

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