Football

Nuno Espirito Santo's reply to transfer query raises Daniel Levy questions at Tottenham


Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo is currently feeling the consequences of Daniel Levy’s failure to sign a top-class striker in the summer transfer window. The north London club were reportedly keen to land a new marksman to provide cover for Harry Kane in attack, but were ultimately left empty-handed in the position.

Levy and Spurs director Fabio Paratici managed to oversee a fruitful pre-season recruitment drive, with no less than five new players joining the club before the all-important deadline.

However, they were unable to bring in any out-and-out strikers, leaving Kane as the club’s only recognised senior option.

They were linked with a number of high-profile stars, including the likes of Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez and Dusan Vlahovic of Fiorentina, but failed to push anything over the line.

Levy’s decision to avoid landing a new forward has seen Tottenham’s reliance on Kane, who has only scored once in the Premier League this season, grow even stronger.

Nuno was forced to start teenage prospect Dane Scarlett against Vitesse on Thursday in order to give Kane a much-needed rest ahead of this weekend’s crunch meeting with West Ham United.

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The youngster has been forced to travel to most Premier League games with the first team this season and has missed out on plenty of minutes for the club’s youth sides as a result.

Nuno was quizzed on whether he would have liked to sign a back-up striker after the full-time whistle on Thursday evening, a question to which the Spurs boss delivered a coy response.

“The squad is what we have and it is my job to take care of all of them, I am not going to comment,” he said.

The Portuguese manager’s reluctance to defend the club’s summer business suggests that he could be wondering what might have been if things had been done differently in pre-season.

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Spurs will remain without a recognised second-choice option until at least January, when they will be able to return to the market and attempt to correct the situation.

It has been suggested that Levy and Paratici are planning to finally act on their interest in Vlahovic at the turn of the year, while Genk forward Paul Onuachu has also been touted as a potential option.

However, high-profile January deals are notoriously difficult to engineer and it remains to be seen whether a new striker can be snapped up by Spurs ahead of the business end of the campaign.

If they fail to bring in a proven goalscorer, it could deepen their problems next season in the event of Kane being sold to Manchester City in the summer.

The England skipper was desperate to join the Premier League champions ahead of the current campaign, but Levy refused to budge in talks and Kane ended up staying as a result.

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He quickly re-pledged his allegiance to Spurs with just days of the transfer window remaining but appears to be suffering from the knock-on effects of his failed move as of late.

His lack of goals and assists has served as a real cause for concern this season, with former West Ham striker Frank McAvennie recently suggesting that Kane should finally be granted a clean break in January.

“Nuno needs that money to reinvest in the squad, they have no midfield,” McAvennie told Football Insider.

“Kane is at the centre of all of this. I can see a January transfer for him, I really can. I think it’s toxic now.

“The relationship, the motivation, it’s not there. I said he needed to leave in the summer and I stand by that, it’s for the best.”

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