While the prospect of new signings are generally what get the fans juices flowing during the summer months, I often feel that securing the services of your most important players should be the priority for Premier League clubs. The Tottenham board have a habit of trying to tie down any talented youngsters in the squad, and the recent extensions for both Son Heung-min and Erik Lamela will definitely help Spurs prior to the 2018/19 season getting underway. Although neither of these two players have been linked with moves away from the club in recent times, both are crucial to Tottenham’s plans going forward.
The Asian leading goalscorer in the history of the Premier League, Son Heung-min’s career at Spurs didn’t exactly hit the ground running. Son signed for Tottenham for a fee of £22 million from Bayer Leverkusen in August 2015, becoming the most expensive Asian player in football history in the process. Having scored two goals during what was only his second game for Spurs, as well as a few other decisive strikes during the 2015-16 campaign, it came as somewhat of a surprise when the South Korean requested permission for a move away from North London. Mauricio Pochettino responded by giving Son more game time, and the opportunity to win a regular place in the first team. Son Heung-min soon showed his worth, with his goalscoring exploits from midfield becoming a very important part of Pochettino’s gameplan.
Erik Lamela has now been on Tottenham Hotspur’s books for a full five seasons believe it or not! The Argentinian’s injury problems have meant a lot of that time has been spent on the sidelines, but his form during the back end of the 2017-18 campaign was the best Lamela has shown for Spurs thus far. While signed for his attacking skills and prowess, there is another side to Erik Lamela’s game and it’s a job that I don’t feel anyone else in the squad can carry out. Lamela is capable of being what I call a spoiler or plain old nuisance if you like. Somewhat dirty when necessary, but not excessively so, Lamela is just one of those guys who can get in the opposition’s faces and make life extremely difficult. He appears to thoroughly enjoy it to! While there is a wealth of talent in the Tottenham Hotspur squad, there is at times the need for a plain old disruptor, and Erik Lamela definitely fits the bill.
Toby Alderweireld aside, Tottenham have a very settled squad prior to the 2018-19 campaign. The same can’t be said for some of their key rivals and I feel that this will be particularly positive for Mauriccio Pochettino’s men over the course of the next few months. Some fans are bemoaning a lack of activity in the transfer market, and although I expect one or two new arrivals before the window closes, I fully expect this group of players to kick on again this term. Erik Lamela and Son Heung-min will be a big part of that.