It has been widely documented that Tottenham Hotspur are the only Premier League team yet to add a new player to their first-team squad this summer, with some Spurs fans starting to scratch their heads over the lack of transfer activity.
Plenty of names are being linked with a move to the North London club, with a new right-back surely the priority after the sale of Kyle Walker to domestic rivals Manchester City.
Mauricio Pochettino’s project at Tottenham has been based around a group of young, hard-working and versatile players, with the Spurs boss demanding certain qualities from those at his disposal.
Should members of his squad be reluctant to live up his standards, the Argentine has duly cast them aside, with Paulinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and Andros Townsend fitting examples.
Given this critique of what it is to be a Tottenham player these days, the window of attainable targets shrinks.
However, there will certainly be players that Pochettino would like to sign, but the current inflated nature of the transfer market is stopping Spurs from granting their manager’s wish.
Reputable football news sites report on a daily basis of the eye-watering fees being touted for players at the pinnacle of the game, with the latest rumblings of Neymar moving to Paris Saint-Germain for £196 million and Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid for £164 million.
Going back to the Premier League, Manchester City have spent around £135 million on three full-backs, Manchester United splashed £75 million on Romelu Lukaku and Swansea City are demanding £50 million for Gylfi Sigurdsson.
Tottenham’s wage structure under Daniel Levy has been covered extensively in the press, with it no secret that Spurs do not pay their players anywhere near as much as the rest of English football’s elite.
Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris are believed to be the club’s top earners on £100,000 per week, but Walker’s new wage at City will be significantly more than this.
Add to this the expense of bankrolling a new £800 million stadium and it is obvious why Tottenham have struggled to find recruits this summer.
The club are believed to covet Ross Barkley but Everton have quoted £50 million, while Juan Foyth is set to move to Paris Saint-Germain to earn higher wages than those available at Spurs.
Given the preposterous amount of money being touted and spent, it appears that Tottenham will need to adopt a different tact to continue their growth and challenge for silverware.
This path has already been well-trodden in recent years, with Spurs looking to their youth system and finding bargains in the transfer market.
The International Centre for Sports Studies recently released statistics on the world’s most-valuable players, with Dele Alli and Harry Kane second and third on the list – reportedly worth a combined £272.5 million.
Incredibly, Kane cost the club nothing given he came through the youth system and Alli cost £5 million from MK Dons.
While Pochettino would surely love to be given the nod to smash the club’s transfer record on a new star to improve the starting XI this summer, it appears that a more-prudent approach will be taken.
While it is not entirely a bad thing, Tottenham cannot compete with their rivals in the current transfer market and must look for value in young stars with potential to bolster their ranks before next season.